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KARA (Kids At Risk Action) tracks current news about at risk children bringing transparency and  attention to our youngest and most vulnerable  citizens. KARA’s reporting is only sampling of what should be reported –  the great majority of child trauma & abuse is never known.

American states are struggling to find answers for ending adverse childhood experiences and saving at risk children by reversing the explosive growth of child abuse and neglect.  Today, many state ward children are 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 1.17)

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


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AZ: Mom Says She’s Fostered 10,000 Navajo Children (Includes audio)

Fronteras – January 30, 2018

Vallis Martinez has lost count of how many foster children she’s cared for on the Navajo Nation. She said it could be as many as 10,000. And the Navajo Department of Family Services wishes there were more like her, because the demand for safe foster homes is so high. The tribe places about 2,400 kids a year with relatives or foster parents.

CO: Foster care needs in Garfield and surrounding counties, by the numbers

Glenwood Springs Post Independent – January 29, 2018

Colorado’s shortage of foster parents is being felt in Garfield County as well as in its neighboring counties, though the level of demand varies greatly from county to county. The Colorado Department of Human Services estimates that the state will need about 1,200 new foster families in the next couple of years, as the state has a severe lack of foster homes. In all of Colorado, there are only about 2,000 foster families.

Editor’s note: This is the first in a two-part look at foster care needs in Garfield County and the surrounding area. Tomorrow, the Post Independent explores efforts to recruit more foster families.

Also: You may be who a foster child needs (Commentary):

GA: Atlanta mayor to step up fight against human trafficking (Includes video)

WGCL-TV – January 30, 2018

Atlanta Mayor Keisha Lance Bottoms has announced that the city will be stepping up its efforts against human trafficking and a cabinet-level position has been created to assist in the fight.

Information Gateway resource: Human Trafficking:

IA: Marion school district settles fourth lawsuit over children being sexual abused by volunteer

Gazette – January 30, 2018

The Marion Independent Community School District on Tuesday paid a fourth settlement of $900,000 to parents of a former Starry Elementary kindergartner who was sexually abused by a volunteer. The district now has agreed to pay $2.7 million to settle lawsuits filed against the district and teacher Diane Graham by eight parents for not preventing and protecting their four children from sexual abuse by Logan McMurrin, 15 in 2015, who was convicted of three sexual abuse charges last year.

IL: IL lawmaker fighting to lower the age children can be left at home

KFVS – January 30, 2018

New legislation filed by Illinois State Representative Joe Sosnowski, R-Rockford, would lower the minimum age that a child can be left home without supervision. The current minimum age is 14. This legislation would lower that age to 12 and allow families with a child over 12 to babysit younger children.

IN: County looks into complaint about Woodburn baby box

Journal Gazette – January 31, 2018

Officials from the Allen County Building Department will investigate a complaint that a device at a Woodburn fire station where people can anonymously leave a newborn is illegal because the “baby box” was installed without proper permits.

KS: School finance, other big issues face new Kansas governor

Associated Press – January 31, 2018

A court mandate to boost spending on Kansas public schools and problems in state prisons, mental hospitals and child foster care confront Republican Jeff Colyer as he takes the Kansas governor’s office and navigates tricky political currents.

MI: A ‘Just City’: Detroit Justice Center plans spring opening

Legal News – January 31, 2018

“Four years ago I founded the Prison and Family Justice project at the University of Michigan Law School where I taught and worked with family members who were caring for children of incarcerated parents,” Alexander said. “I was seeing how these families were really being shut out of a lot of economic development efforts so I decided to apply for local and national funding to establish the Detroit Justice Center, a nonprofit, that will work to get these families over the barriers they face.”

NE: Nebraska Notes Increase of Adoptions from Foster Care

Chronicle of Social Change – January 30, 2018

Last year 538 adoptions were finalized in Nebraska, according to an announcement from Nebraska’s Department of Health and Human Services (DHHS) last week. That number was only exceeded on other year – 2008, when 572 adoptions were finalized.

NJ: These children died even after the child welfare agency began monitoring them (Commentary) – January 30, 2018

Over the past three years, at least 14 other children were on the child welfare agency’s radar when they died in situations that involved abuse, neglect or reckless behavior, according to NJ Advance Media reporting and the Department of Children and Families’ 2015 and 2016 reports on child fatalities. These deaths are rare among the tens of thousands of children served by DCF over the course of a year.

OH: Job and Family Services levy heads for ballot

Courier – January 31, 2018

The Hancock County commissioners approved a resolution Tuesday to place a 1.2-mill, 10-year levy on the May 8 ballot to help finance programs of the county’s Department of Job and Family Services. The funds would be used for child protective services, adult protective services, and child care, all of which are straining the department’s budget.

OH: Knox County selected for national research project

Mount Vernon News – January 30, 2018

Over the next four to five years, Knox County Children Services will take part in a national research project designed to improve recruitment and retention of child welfare staff.

TX: Center for Child Protection opens first satellite office in Lakeway

Austin American-Statesman – January 31, 2018

The new facility is the first satellite office for the East Austin-based program and provides forensic interviews, therapy, medical services, family support and advocacy for child victims of abuse or children who have witnessed a crime and their families.

TX: Abbott asks Texas Rangers to look into Karolyi Ranch abuse allegations (Includes video)

Austin American-Statesman – January 30, 2018

Amid allegations that athletes had been sexually abused for years at the Karolyi Ranch near Huntsville, Gov. Greg Abbott on Tuesday asked the Texas Rangers to investigate activities at the former national training center for USA Gymnastics.

TX: With close to 400 foster kids in Potter and Randall, CPS needs foster parents (Includes video)

KVII – January 30, 2018

There are close to 400 children in Randall and Potter County who are in foster care. They are forced to split up siblings because there are not enough foster homes.

VA: Charlottesville Nonprofit: Opioid Epidemic Affecting Foster Care

WVIR – January 30, 2018

Charlottesville-area nonprofit says the opioid epidemic is impacting the foster care community. DePaul Community Resources says more children than ever before are entering the foster system because of the rising number of deaths attributed to opioid use.

VA: Social services sees increased need in foster care from opioid epidemic (Includes video)

WHSV – January 30, 2018

The Harrisonburg Social Services Department says the number of children in need of foster care in the Rockingham County and Harrisonburg area was high in 2017. Social services says 70 percent or more of their cases have involvement of substance abuse. Lately, many of those cases have involved opioid abuse.

WI: Opioid Abuse, ‘Meth Crisis’ Probed in Vilas

Vilas County News-Review – January 30, 2018

Vilas County, and particularly the town of Lac du Flambeau, report a high percentage of people affected by physician-prescribed and illegally obtained opioids. The result has been a multipronged effort by law enforcement, child welfare, social services, school personnel and health care providers to combat the problem. More broadly, Gov. Scott Walker established a task force in the Department of Health Services (DHS) last fall and named Paul Krupski to the new position of Director of Opiate Initiatives.

US: Opioid Addiction and Pregnancy: Everything Can Still Be Okay (Opinion)

Fix – January 31, 2018

Medication-assisted treatment (MAT) with methadone or buprenorphine is the current gold standard of treatment for pregnant women who have opioid use disorders. Women in the position I was in are most in need of high-quality, effective treatment-for the mother’s sake, and for our children’s-but treatment can be hard to find and we often encounter tremendous bias when seeking help.

Also: Treating Opioid Use Disorder During Pregnancy (NIH policy brief):

US: As opioid crisis grows, judge aims for solutions, settlement

Associated Press – January 30, 2018

The goal is impressive: Hammer out a legal deal that starts guiding the nation out of an epidemic of opioid addiction. How and when that can happen, if at all, is the subject of talks scheduled to begin Wednesday in a federal courthouse in Cleveland. In addition to costing lives, officials have worried that it’s hurting the workforce and overwhelming child welfare systems as children of addicts flood the system. In their legal complaint, officials in Everett, Washington, blamed opioid addiction for a spike in homelessness.

US: Bill targeting sex abuse in Olympic sports, inspired by Larry Nassar case, nears Trump’s desk

Washington Post – January 30, 2018

Inspired by national outrage over the Larry Nassar sex abuse case, a bill that would make it a federal crime for Olympic sports officials to fail to report suspected child abuse to the authorities passed through Congress on Tuesday, advancing to President Trump’s desk. In a news conference Tuesday, several victims of Nassar and their advocates celebrated the bill’s passage, while expressing hope the renewed interest by lawmakers in the case maintains momentum, and that proposed independent inquiries into any culpability for Nassar’s crimes by officials at USA Gymnastics, the United States Olympic Committee, and Michigan State University come to fruition.

Also: Senate sends Trump bill to protect amateur athletes from Nassar-like abuses (Includes video):

Also: Senate Passes Feinstein Bill to Protect Young Athletes from Abuse (Press release):

US: Commentary: Larry Nassar scandal empowers victims to become advocates of change (Includes video)

Orlando Sentinel – January 30, 2018

There should be no safe space at Michigan State, where Nassar worked as a faculty member. Athletic Director Mark Hollis and President Lou Anna Simon have already resigned under duress. Let’s make sure the NCAA didn’t look the other way, either, over allegations of sexual assaults involving Michigan State athletes. Let them feel the wrath and pain for what they did, or didn’t do.

US: Youth-Related References in Trump’s First State of the Union (Commentary)

Chronicle of Social Change – January 30, 2018

President Trump delivered the third-longest State of the Union address of the past 50 years, putting him just behind two of the ones delivered by Bill Clinton. Youth Services Insider sees a few segments in the speech of particular interest to the family and youth services industry.

US: Immigrant children aren’t entitled to government-paid lawyers in deportation hearings, court rules

Los Angeles Times – January 29, 2018

A federal appeals court decided unanimously Monday that minor immigrants who are in the country without legal authorization are not entitled to government-paid lawyers in hearings that could lead to their deportation.

US: Predictive analytics in child welfare: Sanitized for libertarian consumption (Commentary)

NCCPR Child Welfare Blog – January 28, 2018

Predictive analytics uses computer algorithms to tell government authorities things like which alleged criminals should get bail, who to investigate as an alleged child abuser and, if some of its strongest backers get their way, which children should be taken from their parents and consigned to foster care.


AZ: Southern Arizona sex traffickers target runaways, kids from across U.S.

Arizona Daily Star – January 27, 2018

Sex trafficking of children has gained attention in recent years and federal lawmakers targeted websites they believed facilitated it, but the number of children who become victims of sex traffickers remains unclear.

CA: Donation Will Give Laptops to 1,100 Foster Youth in California’s Rural Counties

Chronicle of Social Change – January 29, 2018

iFoster, a Truckee, Calif.-based nonprofit, will place laptops in the homes of 1,100 foster youth ages 16 to 21 in 35 rural California counties. iFoster received $400,000 from the Rural County Representatives of California (RCRC) and the National Homebuyers Fund (NHF) to buy the laptops and provide them to foster youth.

Also: California’s Rural Counties provide laptops to foster youth:

CO: Catholic, education groups oppose child abuse reporting bill (Includes video)

KUSA – January 29, 2018

Educators, along with a list of other professionals, are required by law to report child abuse allegations to police. But the statute of limitations for failure to report ends 18 months after the fact.

Also: Colorado Catholic Church fights child abuse bill (Includes video):

DC: A new court program will help child sex trafficking victims find help and heal in Washington D.C.

Thomson Reuters Foundation – January 29, 2018

On January 29, a new D.C. Superior Court program, HOPE Court, formally launched to offer court-involved child survivors like Brianna true help. HOPE Court youth will advocate weekly in court for themselves while being connected to specialized providers like FAIR Girls who support them with counseling and mentorship that addresses the root causes of how they were lured into sex trafficking, such as homelessness or domestic violence.

FL: Opinion: Opioid crisis intensifying foster care needs

Tallahassee Democrat – January 26, 2018

The collateral damage reaches far and wide. The number of children entering foster care is staggering. A week doesn’t pass when my phone doesn’t ring with a request to take placement of a child in need. One week, I received 11 such calls.

IA: I9: Lawmakers questioning if Iowa’s mandatory reporting law strong enough (Includes video)

KCRG – January 29, 2018

Several high profile court cases involving abuse of children have put the state’s mandatory reporter law under the microscope. The law requires doctors, teachers, and counselors to report any sign of suspected abuse to the Department of Human Services and police.

KS: New Wichita program aims to help youth aging out of foster care (Includes video)

KSNW – January 29, 2018

“We want to be able to help these youth in foster care,” says Crabtree. “These very vulnerable youth to just be successful as they transition from foster care into adulthood onto their own.” YOUTHRIVE originally started in Kansas City, helping youth between the ages of 17-21 to find their footing.

MI: Police investigated MSU coach, staff for possible obstruction of justice

Michigan Public Radio – January 29, 2018

Michigan State University Police opened an investigation last year into allegations that then-women’s gymnastics coach, Kathie Klages, and other MSU Athletic Department staff obstructed the criminal investigation into Larry Nassar.

MO: House debates series of bills reforming foster care

Sedalia Democrat – January 29, 2018

Several bills involving foster care reform, ranging from restricting public access to foster parents’ information to improving safety , were debated Monday in the first public hearing of the Special Committee to Improve the Care and Well-Being of Young People.

NH: State’s new child advocate will see the full picture

New Hampshire Union Leader – January 29, 2018

New Hampshire’s first child advocate will have unusual independence and authority, including subpoena power, as she takes office today in yet another move by lawmakers to address problems in the state’s troubled child protective services.

NM: Within New Mexico, Doña Ana County struggles with child well-being too (Includes video)

Las Cruces Sun-News – January 29, 2018

New Mexico continues to struggle when it comes to improving child well-being, and Doña Ana County isn’t faring well either.

Also: 2017 New Mexico Kid’s Count Data Book:

NM: Advocates working to end homelessness in Las Cruces

Santa Fe New Mexican – January 27, 2018

“It was all about safety,” said James Sassak, one of four of the original founders of Camp Hope. “That’s what it started for, to have safety and to have people around for those who were in need. We formed a little group there and it progressed to where 90 days was extended because everything was happening so well. Police calls dropped. Emergency calls dropped. The violence dropped.

NV: Clark County foster parents still waiting on funding fix

Las Vegas Review-Journal – January 27, 2018

Well more than 100 families in Clark County’s specialized foster care system are running the two treatment models but receive Medicaid funding for only one, according to Eagle Quest director of operations Dave Doyle. That has created a limbo as local foster care agencies, Medicaid and county and state officials mull how to pay for specialized foster care in Clark County.

PR: Non-married couples now allowed to adopt in Puerto Rico

Associated Press – January 29, 2018

Puerto Rico’s governor has signed a law meant to speed and encourage adoptions, partly by allowing unmarried couples to adopt children in the socially conservative U.S. territory.

RI: Raimondo Announces Extension of DCYF Care for Youth Up to Age 21

LPR News – January 29, 2018

As part of her FY19 budget, Governor Gina M. Raimondo announced plans to allow young people to access care and support through DCYF up to age 21. Providing an opportunity to continue care up to age 21 will build stronger transition plans and help young people in DCYF care access the job training and education they need to get and keep a job. Approximately 70 youth each year exit DCYF care when they turn 18.

Also: Raimondo: DCYF foster care extended to age 21 (Includes video):

Information Gateway resource: Youth:

TX: Judge calls out Texas foster care chief as teen runs away for 5th time

Austin American-Statesman – January 29, 2018

An Abilene judge has ordered the leader of Texas Child Protective Services to show up in court Wednesday to explain why his agency can’t keep a 14-year-old girl from repeatedly running away from foster care.

TX: Sherin’s Law: Residents seek to make leaving child alone a felony (Commentary)

Carrollton Leader – January 29, 2018

“Texas is one of the most lenient states on child laws. It is not illegal to leave your child home alone in Texas, and while we know that is not how she (Sherin) died, if it was a felony, the mother would be getting stacked charges against her,” Poteet said. “There needs to be some sort of accountability for parents. Children under the age of 10 should not be left home alone. There’s so many things that can happen.”

WA: Treehouse Announces Statewide Expansion, New 5-Year Graduation Goal for Youth in Foster Care (Press release)

Treehouse – January 29, 2018

Treehouse, a Seattle-based nonprofit which has dramatically increased high school graduation rates for youth in foster care, announced it will expand statewide over the next five years and has set a lofty new goal: “By 2022, youth in foster care across Washington state will graduate from high school at the same rate as their peers, with support and a plan to launch successfully into adulthood.”

US: Separating Families at the Border Will Multiply Child Trauma (Opinion)

Chronicle of Social Change – January 29, 2018

Parents do not uproot their children to make a long and dangerous journey to an uncertain future in the U.S. unless the circumstances in their home country are so threatening that the risks of migration pale in comparison to more certain risks at home. They leave their homes, other family members, schools, churches and familiar communities because they feel they must.

US: Brain injury in sports ‘the civil rights issue of our time,’ top researcher says

Wisconsin Center for Investigative Journalism – January 28, 2018

The subject of the 2015 movie “Concussion,” Dr. Bennet Omalu’s discovery of a degenerative brain disease in former Pittsburgh Steelers center Mike Webster and others has spurred a national debate about the safety of high contact sports including football, ice hockey, mixed martial arts, boxing, wrestling, rugby, lacrosse and soccer. Omalu likens the American obsession with football to a religion. In that regard, he might be considered a heretic: Omalu has equated allowing children to play football to child abuse and warns that the NFL is doomed unless it starts reducing harmful blows to the head.

US: Drawbacks to Home-Schooling (Commentary)

Pilot – January 27, 2018

Home-schooling is a relatively new phenomenon. In years past, most states enforced compulsory school attendance laws. All children had to attend a state-sponsored public school or an accredited private school. And “school” had to be a “real school.” But, beginning in the 1960s, “schools” became more than “schools.” They became places for social experimentation.

Also: US: Wortham: Human tragedy abounds at border (Commentary):


Armenia: Anna Safaryan: Many children occur in residential care institutions for social reasons

Panorama – January 27, 2018

Children receive certain services when they occur in residential care institutions, yet no preventive mechanisms exist to support their families before that happens, assistant to the minister of labour and social issues Anna Safaryan stated at a discussion “Introduction of Integrated Social Services: Achievements and Challenges,” held in Yerevan on Saturday.

United Kingdom: Private foster care agencies increasing cost of finding children homes

Guardian – January 30, 2018

Foster care agencies run for profit by private equity investors are pushing up the cost of placing vulnerable children with families, local authorities have warned.


CA: Three Strategies That Helped San Francisco Increase Foster Home Applications by 300 Percent (Opinion)

Chronicle of Social Change – January 26, 2018

San Francisco has been able to increase the number of resource parents applying by more than 300 percent since partnering with Binti, a company I co-founded. Binti builds software for government and private foster care agencies to help alleviate the shortage of foster parents so that every child can have a stable, loving home.

Information Gateway resource: Diligent Recruitment:

CA: Sheila Kuehl Charts Path for Nation’s Largest Child Welfare System (Interview)

Chronicle of Social Change – January 25, 2018

As the current chair of Los Angeles County’s Board of Supervisors, Sheila Kuehl is in a prominent position to shape child welfare policy that will not only have an impact in L.A., but nationally. With more than 10 million residents, the county is larger than all but eight states. Accordingly, with nearly 35,000 children served by the county’s Department of Children and Family Services (DCFS), L.A. is home to the largest child welfare system in the nation.

DC: For Homeless Youth, Statistics and Reality Are Miles Apart – January 24, 2018

As many as 1 in 10 young adults between the ages of 18 and 25 — or 3.5 million young people — experience homelessness over a 12-month period, according to the Voice of Youth Count survey, a new study by Chapin Hall at the University of Chicago.

Report: Missed Opportunities: Youth Homelessness in America:

FL: Central Florida opens two special foster homes for young victims of sexual trafficking (Video)

Orlando Sentinel – January 26, 2018

Erin Wirsing, director of Devereux Florida’s Commercial Sexual Exploitation of Children Program, discusses the opening of two “safe” foster homes for kids and teens rescued from sex traffickers. The foster parents have undergone extra training to understand the youth’s special needs.

Also: Orange opens first human-trafficking emergency shelter (Includes video):

IA: Budget shortfall: Embattled DHS faces $10 million in cuts (Includes video)

KCCI – January 26, 2018

The state agency that came under widespread scrutiny after the unrelated starvation deaths of two 16-year-old central Iowa girls faces proposed budget cuts, which Democrats say could lead to another tragedy. Despite high caseloads and short staffing, the Iowa Department of Human Service’s budget is set to be reduced by nearly 10 percent, but Republican legislators say they’re confident they can protect both taxpayers and Iowa children.

IL: Gov. Rauner Replaces Longtime DCFS Watchdog (Includes audio)

WBEZ – January 26, 2018

The longtime top watchdog for Illinois’ troubled child-welfare system – who’s been highly critical of the agency’s former director leading up to his resignation amid a corruption scandal last year – is now being replaced by Gov. Bruce Rauner. Gov. Bruce Rauner announced last week he’s appointing a replacement to Denise Kane, who was the first-ever inspector general for the Illinois Department of Children and Family Services.

Also: Illinois Gov. Replacing Longtime DCFS Watchdog After Report Critizing Agency:

KS: Report: Poor Families Struggling With Kansas Welfare Rules

KCUR – January 25, 2018

Income that doesn’t come close to the poverty line. Persistent job insecurity. Shifting schedules and irregular hours. Cumbersome barriers to state assistance meant for the neediest Kansans.

Report: Life After TANF in Kansas: For Most, Unsteady Work and Earnings Below Half the Poverty Line:

MD: Md. foster care bill aims to expand tuition grants

WTOP – January 27, 2018

Verging on adulthood, Shalita O’Neale faced a big decision: college or family? “I had a family member who wanted to adopt me but they felt it would be best if I stayed in the foster care system because of the gift of postsecondary education,” O’Neale told a panel of Maryland lawmakers last week. “This was a barrier for adoption for me … I did stay in foster care and I aged out at age 21,” said O’Neale, foster youth ombudsman for the Department of Human Services.

MI: Sex abuse scandal is far from over at Michigan State

Associated Press – January 26, 2018

Sports doctor Larry Nassar is on his way to prison for the rest of his life for molesting scores of young female athletes, but the scandal is far from over at Michigan State University as victims, lawmakers and a judge demand to know why he wasn’t stopped years ago.

Also: For every Aly Raisman, there is a little girl in Frankford: Child sexual assault is Philly’s problem too | Opinion:

MS: Attorney: Child Protection Services deficit plan could violate federal settlement (Includes video)

Clarion Ledger – January 28, 2018

The plaintiffs’ attorney in the long-running Olivia Y federal case over Mississippi’s foster care system says the state could violate a court order if the Department of Child Protection Services implements a hiring freeze and delays a software upgrade to wipe out an unexpected budget deficit.

MT: Providers worry cuts could move state away from community-based care

Missoulian – January 28, 2018

DPHHS is facing a multitude of cuts and reductions, touching a broad range of services from dental care to in-home services for the elderly and disabled, to closing public assistance offices and homes for at-risk pregnant women. Some of the most vocal groups affected by the cuts are those who provided targeted case management for the developmentally disabled and mentally ill.

NC: Richmond County Department of Social Services to track more children affected by drugs

Richmond County Daily Journal – January 26, 2018

A law that went into effect on July 31 requiring hospitals to report all instances of women giving birth while either they or their baby have drugs – legal or illegal – in their system has resulted in 10 times more reports than before, which could put a strain on child welfare service providers, according to Director of Social Services Robby Hall.

ND: The road to homelessness: How a woman and her three kids ended up in Fargo with no home (Commentary)

InForum – January 28, 2018

Sheyenne Rodriguez is not a drunk. She doesn’t do drugs. She’s strong, not weak. She’s native, Lakota from Standing Rock. She’s 35 years old and lives in Fargo.

NY: State Leaders Must Blunt Impact of Federal Tax Reform on New York Nonprofits and the People Who Rely on Us (Opinion)

Gotham Gazette – January 29, 2018

The recently passed federal tax law will deepen inequality and jeopardize the health and wellbeing of families and individuals across our state. This legislation penalizes New Yorkers by capping the state and local tax (SALT) deduction and will create deficits that are likely to result in catastrophic cuts to the programs they depend on. Lack of funds at these agencies would impact foster care, adoption services, after-school programs, and Head Start. When direct aid is cut, families and individuals will rely even more heavily on nonprofit human services organizations.

NY: County blocks $2.6 million state grant

WXXI – January 26, 2018

Monroe County recently turned down a $2.6 million grant from the state that would have helped poor parents accused of neglect keep their children. The NYS Office of Indigent Legal Services would have awarded Monroe County’s Public Defender’s office the money but the County blocked the grant, saying they don’t want to protect parents’ interests at the expense of the child’s well-being.

Also: Family advocate, Monroe County at odds over rejected grant money:

NY: Stop private schools’ ability to ‘pass the trash’ and ignore staff sex abuse suspicions (Includes video) (Commentary)

Journal News – January 26, 2018

New York private school administrators should follow the same reporting rules as public school administrators when it comes to reports of abuse. Shockingly, they are not mandated, under current state law, to alert authorities to reports of child abuse in the educational setting, nor to report a worker’s resignation after such accusations.

OH: Ohio part of study to reduce child welfare workers turnover

WRAL – January 25, 2018

Eight Ohio counties will participate in the project led by the Quality Improvement Center for Workforce Development. The organization is funded by the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services.

OK: Oklahoma ScissorTales: Good news on foster care front (Opinion)

Oklahoman – January 27, 2018

OKLAHOMA’s foster care system has been the subject of considerable concern for many years, due in part to the tremendous volume of cases. Yet a new report shines a positive light on the state’s efforts. The report by the Chronicle of Social Change says Oklahoma has outpaced all other states in increasing its foster care capacity in the past five years. At least half the states lost foster care capacity during that time.

OR: As child abuse reports increase in Benton County, business community tasked with helping

Corvallis Gazette-Times – January 26, 2018

As confirmed child abuse reports increase in Benton County, members of the local business community are being asked to take measures to help keep children safe. “Child abuse is preventable, if we as a community take all the actions that are necessary to prevent it,” said Jenny Gilmore-Robinson, executive director of ABC House, a child abuse intervention center.

TX: Texas Makes First Potential Move Toward Privatizing Child Welfare

Chronicle of Social Change – January 26, 2018

In a pilot program meant to test privatization of child welfare services, the Texas Department of Family and Protective Services (DFPS) has appointed a nonprofit organization to provide family-based safety services to families at risk of child abuse or neglect in six Texas counties, including El Paso.

WI: Faith, Hope & Love raising funds to open receiving home for foster children

Racine Journal Times – January 28, 2018

In 2017, there were 88 foster homes in Racine County and an average of 312 children in foster care, according to Kerry Milkie, youth and family manager for Racine County Human Services. To combat the shortage, in December, Mark and Heather Lojeski started a capital campaign to raise funds to help open the Faith, Hope & Love Home for Children, a temporary place for Racine County foster children.

WY: Wyoming Looks to Merge Department of Health, Family Services

Chronicle of Social Change – January 25, 2018

As the state ramps up its legislative session, Wyoming lawmakers are considering a merger of the state departments of Health and Family Services. When Director Tom Forslund took on the oversight of the Department of Family Services last year, in addition to his position as director of the Department of Health, he was asked by the governor and lawmakers to look into what it would look like to merge the two entities.

Also: Budgeters push permanent merger of health, family services:

US: Is Smoking Pot While Pregnant Safe For The Baby? (Includes audio)

National Public Radio – January 29, 2018

The number of women in the United States who use marijuana during pregnancy has been difficult to gauge, partly because some women are reluctant to tell their doctors; at least 24 states consider substance use during pregnancy a form of child abuse, so divulging such information can have serious consequences.

Also: Court Rules That Under Pennsylvania Law, Drug Use While Pregnant Can Constitute Child Abuse:

US: New mothers overcoming addiction face a world of obstacles (May require free registration)

Boston Globe – January 29, 2018

Women new to recovery, who still need treatment and support, have an often-fussy infant calling on them around the clock, while temptations to resume drug use lurk around every corner. But they don’t find as much help as they did when pregnant – and the overdose death rate soars among women six months to a year after giving birth.

US: Why The Child Welfare Establishment Doesn’t Want to Know About Child Torture (Commentary)

Child Welfare Monitor – January 29, 2018

The child welfare establishment appears not to want to believe in the existence of such parents who are so bad as to be beyond rehabilitation. The child welfare establishment also fears that publicizing cases like that of the Turpins will result in a flood of calls to child abuse hotlines, resulting in the type of “foster care panic” that sometime occurs after a tragic case.

US: Case of shackled kids revives home-school regulation debate

Associated Press – January 28, 2018

“Right now the biggest threat is that lawmakers might make a decision based on the emotion of the moment, rather than looking at the empirical evidence,” said Scott Woodruff, senior counsel with the Virginia-based Home School Legal Defense Association. He said national organizations that track risk factors for child abuse, including the U.S. Commission to Eliminate Child Neglect and Fatalities, don’t list home-schooling among them.

US: Danette Mitchell: Commitment to end human trafficking must include Native Americans

Reporter – January 28, 2018

When it comes to human trafficking, many of us know that traffickers seek out persons perceived to be vulnerable. Native Americans represent another vulnerable population that rarely make the front page when it comes to human trafficking.

Report: Foster Care and Human Trafficking: A State-by-State Evaluation:

US: West Virginia native helps to raise scholarship funds for foster children

WV Metro News – January 28, 2018

Last year, Hay graduated from Loyola University in Baltimore, Maryland, with a degree in psychology, and as she prepared for graduation, felt felt a strong need to give back and to do something more than what she was doing at the time. “I just looked back over my experience and how scary it was but at the same time how incredible,” she said. “I just wanted other foster children to have that exact same experience, to be able to look back on how far they’ve come and realize it’s absolutely a possibility.” That’s when Hay found “Together We Rise,” a non-profit organization based in Brea, California, designed to aid the nation’s youth in foster care.

US: Larry Nassar sex abuse scandal to see entire US Gymnastics board resign (Includes video)

ABC News Australia – January 27, 2018

The entire board of the US Gymnastics authority is set to resign in the wake of the scandal involving the sexual abuse of more than 150 female athletes by former team doctor Larry Nassar.

Also: USA Gymnastics board resigning amid sexual abuse scandal:

US: The Price I Paid for Taking On Larry Nassar (Commentary)

New York Times – January 26, 2018

Some of us were athletes; some of us were not. Some of us were white; some of us were black. Some of us were married; some of us were still in high school. Many of us had never met. But we shared one core, unifying experience: sexual assault at the hands of Larry Nassar. And we had one core, unifying goal: facing our abuser and confronting the culture that allowed him to prey on us without fear or punishment.

US: How Protestant Churches Are Involved with Adoption and Foster Care

Christianity Today – January 24, 2018

Survey finds nondenominational ones are most active. But half of churchgoers say their church doesn’t mention either issue.

US: 13 siblings held captive were likely coerced to remain quiet (Includes video)

Associated Press – January 18, 2018

When a 17-year-old girl jumped out a window from the house where her parents allegedly starved and tortured their 13 children, she broke a silence that had likely lasted years. It’s not clear why the teenager waited so long to act, but psychiatrists say such behavior is not uncommon even in cases of extreme deprivation.


Kenya: 391 child abuse cases reported in 3 months

Star (Kenya) – January 29, 2018

Some 391 cases of child abuse were reported between October and December last year. A recent report released by Childline Kenya said the most frequently reported abuse was child neglect at 116 cases, followed by physical abuse and sexual abuse at 100 and 76 respectively.

Kenya: CBO launch child protection program

Kenya News Agency – January 26, 2018

A Community Based Organization (CBO) – MWENDO has launched a 5 year child protection program in 15 Counties projected to cost of Kshs.63.9 million. Linda Achieng, the programs Coordinator said Making Well informed Efforts to Nurture Disadvantaged Orphans and Vulnerable Children (MWENDO) has set out to work with Catholic Relief Services as the lead agency to facilitate child protection in the region.



CA: Sheila Kuehl Charts Path for Nation’s Largest Child Welfare System (Interview)

Chronicle of Social Change – January 25, 2018

As the current chair of Los Angeles County’s Board of Supervisors, Sheila Kuehl is in a prominent position to shape child welfare policy that will not only have an impact in L.A., but nationally. With more than 10 million residents, the county is larger than all but eight states. Accordingly, with nearly 35,000 children served by the county’s Department of Children and Family Services (DCFS), L.A. is home to the largest child welfare system in the nation.

FL: Push to Guarantee Lawyers for Florida Foster Youth Falls Short (Commentary)

Chronicle of Social Change – January 25, 2018

An attempt to constitutionally guarantee legal counsel to children removed from their parents in Florida fell short this week, leaving proponents to mull other strategies for providing lawyers to kids in foster care.

IN: Foster Parent legislation passes Indiana Senate

Tribune-Star – January 25, 2018

The bill, which was authored by Ford, would require the Indiana Department of Child Services to enact a Foster Parent Bill of Rights, on Thursday, it passed the Indiana Senate by a vote of 48-0.

Also: Foster Parents Bill Of Rights Moves Forward (Includes video):

KS: Report: Poor Families Struggling With Kansas Welfare Rules

KCUR – January 25, 2018

A new report from the left-leaning Center for Budget and Policy Priorities paints a stark picture of the Kansas welfare system. The CBPP report contends that FGA exaggerated post-welfare earnings and drew flawed conclusions about the power of the new Kansas policies to lift families from poverty.

Report: Life After TANF in Kansas: For Most, Unsteady Work and Earnings Below Half the Poverty Line:

Also: Work Requirements are Working for Kansas Families:

MI: Lou Anna Simon announces resignation as Michigan State president (Includes video)

ESPN – January 25, 2018

Michigan State University president Lou Anna Simon announced her resignation Wednesday, the same day that former MSU doctor Larry Nassar was sentenced to 40 to 175 years for criminal sexual conduct involving more than 100 girls and women over more than two decades.

Also: Michigan State President Resigns Amid Criticism Over Larry Nassar Sex Abuse Scandal:

MI: Some liken Michigan State to Penn State amid abuse scandal

Associated Press – January 25, 2018

Sports doctor Larry Nassar is on his way to prison for the rest of his life for molesting scores of young female athletes, but the scandal is far from over at Michigan State University as victims, lawmakers and a judge demand to know why he wasn’t stopped years ago.

Also: The sex abuse scandal is far from over at Michigan State:

Also: Michigan lawmakers turn legislative microscope on MSU, sexual assault:

NE: DHHS sees near-record number of adoptions in 2017 (Press release)

KNOP – January 25, 2018

DHHS announced Thursday that the number of adoptions for the State hit a near-record high in 2017. 538 adoptions were finalized last year – a number exceeded only in 2008, when adoptions reached a high of 572.

NE: Nebraska child welfare caseloads improve, but still fail national standards

Lincoln Journal Star – January 25, 2018

The turnover rate went from 32 percent in the 12 months between July 2016 to June 30, 2017, to 19 percent in the six months between July 2017 to Jan. 1 of this year, said Matt Wallen, director of the division of children and family services. Vacancies went from 10 percent to 5.5 percent between January and December 2017. Staff that left in the past year had an average tenure of 2.8 years. Those remaining in their positions had an average tenure of 5.8 years, he said.

NH: DCYF Eyes Reform Progress, Possible Support for Foster Parent Bill of Rights

NHPR – January 25, 2018

A leader of the state agency dedicated to the welfare of children supports the intent of a proposed foster parent bill of rights in New Hampshire. Christine Tappan, associate commissioner of Human Services and Behavioral Health for the New Hampshire Department of Health and Human Services, said on The Exchange on Thursday that she was surprised that the state had not already enacted something similar because of past review by stakeholders, including a foster adoptive parents association. She tells NHPR that her staff continues to review proposed legislation, which is a work in progress.

NY: McCoy aims to tackle rise in foster care children

Times Union – January 25, 2018

In the last four years, Albany County has seen a 23 percent increase in children needing foster care because of parents afflicted by opioid addiction, mental health issues or domestic violence. To tackle this rise, County Executive Daniel McCoy wants the county Department of Children, Youth and Family Services to create a task force on foster children to ensure they don’t fall victim to the same challenges that have impaired their parents.

NY: N.Y. appeals court backs married lesbian couple’s parental rights

Times Union – January 25, 2018

Delving into an emerging area of law, a five-judge panel of the Appellate Division of state Supreme Court unanimously ruled the couple, through marriage, is presumed to be the parents and that a genetic test would not be in the child’s best interests.

NY: In most of the country, when children are torn from impoverished families, those families are almost literally defense-less

NCCPR Child Welfare Blog – January 21, 2018

Given a chance to replicate a model family defense program with a proven track record for reducing needless foster care, improving child safety and saving taxpayers money – at no cost to the county – metropolitan Rochester said no.

OH: Local family pushes back against bill (Commentary)

Grand Lake Daily Standard – January 25, 2018

Working in tandem with a local state legislator and Ohio Right to Life, Brian Anderson said draft legislation has been crafted that he says would clearly define that a birth parent has the right to choose an adoption plan for his or her child, even if that child is in children services’ custody. However, he added, “the opposition” beat the couple to the punch, introducing House Bill 283 that he asserts would prevent a family in a similar situation from adopting a child.

PA: Special Report | Fostering children of addiction (Includes video)

WHP CBS 21 – January 25, 2018

According to the Pennsylvania Department of Human Services, in 2016, Cumberland, Dauphin, Lancaster and York counties had dozens of children pulled from their homes for a drug related situation. In Cumberland County, that was almost 40% of their foster care cases and more than 30% in York county.

TX: Center for Child Protection opens Lakeway facility (Includes video)

KVUE – January 25, 2018

The Center for Child Protection has opened their second facility in Lakeway. It will serve children who are victims of abuse, neglect or have witnessed a crime. It will give those who don’t live near the main East Austin location an option to receive services closer to home.

VA: Winchester foster care numbers hit record high (Includes video)

WDVM – January 25, 2018

The Winchester Department of Social Services has seen foster care numbers as low as under 20 children, but today they are dealing with the highest numbers they’ve ever seen. There are currently 72 children living in foster care in the city of Winchester, and the city’s Department of Social Services says that number is consistently growing.

WA: Treehouse plans statewide expansion of graduation program for youth in foster care

Kent Reporter – January 25, 2018

Treehouse, a Seattle-based nonprofit which has dramatically increased graduation rates for youth in foster care, announced it will expand statewide over the next five years and has set a lofty new goal. Treehouse plans by 2022 that youth in foster care across Washington state will graduate from high school at the same rate as their peers, with support and a plan to launch successfully into adulthood, according to a news release.

US: US Olympic Committee gives USA Gymnastics board six days to resign or face punishment (Includes video)

ABC – January 26, 2018

The U.S. Olympic Committee made a move to force USA Gymnastics’ hand on Thursday, demanding the entire board resign before Jan. 31 or it will move to terminate its status as the sport’s national governing body. The move by the USOC comes in the wake of Larry Nassar’s sentencing on Wednesday to 40 to 175 years in prison for the sexual assault of U.S. gymnasts under his care.–abc-news-topstories.html

US: US Senator calls for hearings on athlete sexual abuse

Agence France-Presse – January 25, 2018

Gary Peters, a Democrat representing Michigan in the US Senate, said he wants to investigate “why there have been multiple instances of major sexual abuse scandals involving young adult and child athletes, as well as neglectful indifference by officials who should have protected them.”

Information Gateway resource: Reporting Child Abuse and Neglect:

US: Turpin abuse case prompts debate on homeschool oversight

Catholic World Report – January 24, 2018

The progressive-leaning Coalition for Responsible Home Education is backing a requirement that homeschooled students be forced into contact with mandatory child abuse reporters. The group recommends requiring homeschooled students to have annual doctors’ visits and annual assessments by a certified teacher. The group says “responsible home-schooling parents” already do those things.

Also: Don’t Turn California Child Torture Case Into Discrimination Against Home-schoolers (Commentary):


Afghanistan: 4 Killed in ISIS attack on Save the Children in Afghanistan (Press release) (Includes video)

CNN – January 25, 2018

ISIS militants attacked the offices of British aid agency Save the Children in the eastern Afghan city of Jalalabad on Wednesday, killing at least four people and injuring dozens in a 10-hour battle, according to local authorities.

Also: Update on Attack at Save the Children in Jalalabad, Afghanistan (Press release):

International: GC2018 Supports Campaign to Protect Children Around the World (Press release)

Around The Rings – January 25, 2018

An international initiative aimed at educating sports fans and the general public about the issue of knowing the signs of child abuse and exploitation will have a presence at the Gold Coast 2018 Commonwealth Games (GC2018).


AR: Proposed Amendment Gives AR Legislature Authority to Waive Sovereign Immunity

KARK/KARZ – January 24, 2018

Following a monumental Arkansas Supreme Court decision that prohibits Arkansans from taking any court action against state government in state court, a group today said it will promote a ballot measure to give the Arkansas General Assembly the right to waive sovereign immunity in certain circumstances. Additionally, the decision could circumvent lawsuits under the Administrative Procedures Act, stop taxpayer illegal exaction cases and prevent lawsuits against the Department of Human Services regarding child welfare.

Also: Group seeks to overturn Supreme Court sovereign immunity ruling with amendment:

AZ: Court revives family’s lawsuit in child protection case

Associated Press – January 24, 2018

A federal court has revived a Peoria family’s lawsuit against Arizona child protection officials who removed three young girls from their home after a Wal-Mart photo processing employee noticed partially nude pictures of the children. The San Francisco-based 9th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals ruling Tuesday overturns a trial judge’s ruling that the officials had legal immunity.

Also: Court: Photos of your naked kids is not a reason for DCS to take your children (Includes video):

AZ: Ducey’s staff comes to Prescott to sell budget

Prescott Daily Courier – January 24, 2018

In an effort to increase adoptions of children in foster care, the state will use $15.8 million for adoption subsidies. Guardian, a new child welfare information system, will cost $9.5 million to develop and manage. The Division of Developmental Disabilities program will receive $10.7 million for child evaluation services, client room and board, and case management.

CA: Lawsuit: San Bernardino County CFS did not tell adoptive parents about boy’s history of violence, sexual abuse

Press-Enterprise – January 24, 2018

A federal lawsuit filed Tuesday by the adoptive parents of two boys alleges the San Bernardino County’s Department of Children and Family Services failed to disclose that one of the boys had a history of sexually abusing his younger brother and other children.The unnamed adoptive parents, identified as John and Jane Doe in the lawsuit, allege “direct and derivative negligence,” civil rights violations, and violations of federal adoption and child welfare laws by the county, among other things. The adoptive parents and their youngest adopted son are named as plaintiffs in the lawsuit, filed Tuesday in U.S. District Court in Riverside.

FL: Misconceptions of fostering children (Commentary)

Orange Leader – January 24, 2018

I wanted to share some information about being foster parents and a lot of the misconceptions about it.

IL: UCAN Bringing Child, Family Services To Hillsboro

Hillsboro Journal-News – January 25, 2018

Organized based on high demand of services in the area, the Unified Child Advocacy Network (UCAN), a nonprofit organization which serves, protects and advocates for children affected by abuse, formed at the beginning of July and UCAN members met their first case just seven days after. They have presided over 97 cases within Montgomery, Macoupin, Greene, Calhoun and Jersey counties thus far, and are able to recognize all needs of a child during the interview process.

LA: RPSB considering reconfiguration of a dozen elementary and middle schools (Includes video)

Town Talk – January 24, 2018

According to the district office of child welfare and attendance, student mobility and poverty are closely tied because families often face eviction when they can’t pay rent or have to move because of other emergency financial and job situations, Authement said. “When there are multiple moves within a school year, this is what you see ultimately increases the risk of a kid dropping out,” Authement said.

MA: Baker Touts Accomplishments, Stresses Bipartisanship In State Of The Commonwealth Address (Includes audio)

WAMC – January 24, 2018

Massachusetts Gov. Charlie Baker delivered this third State of the Commonwealth address Tuesday night. With his eye on a bid for a second term this year, Baker touted many accomplishments including closing a $1 billion structural budget deficit without raising taxes, cutting by 95 percent the number of homeless families living in motels, and hiring more social workers to reduce caseloads at the state’s scandal-marred child welfare agency.

Also: Governor sends $40.9 billion spending plan to Legislature:

MI: How to Recognize and Report Child Abuse and Neglect

Metro Parent for Southeast Michigan – January 24, 2018

Of course, no one wants to think that child abuse and neglect is actually happening, but it is, and when it does, it’s up to the community at large to speak up for the sake of the kid. Here, Colin Parks, the program manager for the State of Michigan Child Protective Services, explains what abuse and neglect are, what you should watch out for and how to report.

MN: In Minnesota, Drug Use Now Tops Neglect as Reason for Removal to Foster Care

Chronicle of Social Change – January 24, 2018

According to a new report on out-of-home care and permanency released by Minnesota’s Department of Human Services (DHS), parental drug use was the number one reason children were removed from their homes in 2016.

Also: Minnesota’s Out-of-Home Care and Permanency Report, 2016: Children and Family Services, October 2017:

Also: Minnesota Opioid crisis strains Minnesota’s child protection system:

MO: Richardson creates child welfare committee

Perry County Republic-Monitor – January 24, 2018

Speaker Todd Richardson announced the formation of a special committee to focus specifically on policy proposals impacting the health and welfare of the thousands of children and youth in Missouri’s care. The Special Committee to Improve the Care and Well-being of Young People will consider ideas to improve the child welfare system that is charged with the important task of protecting the most vulnerable Missourians.

NC: Durham wants to relieve some of Child Protective Services’ heavy load. Here’s how.

Herald Sun – January 24, 2018

The Durham County Board of Social Services is seeking to increase the number of child welfare social workers to lower caseloads and bring the county in line with state requirements. The proposal calls for five new social workers to investigate cases of neglect and abuse, and a social work supervisor to “address the shortage of staff found within Child Protective Services,” according to the proposal.

NC: Few details known about absence of Forsyth County Department of Social Services director

Winston-Salem Journal – January 24, 2018

After several weeks, it’s still unclear what’s up with the absence of Debra Donahue, the director of the Forsyth County Department of Social Services. The Forsyth County Board of Social Services has released few details about Donahue since DSS employees were told more than two weeks ago that Forsyth County Assistant County Manager Ronda Tatum had became the department’s acting director.

NE: Committee questions Nebraska HHS official on identifying child sex abuse

Lincoln Journal Star – January 25, 2018

If Nebraska didn’t have an inspector general for child welfare, how would people know 50 children and youth in the child-welfare system were sexually abused over a recent three-year period? That’s the question Omaha Sen. Sara Howard asked Nebraska’s children and family services director, Matt Wallen, on Wednesday during a briefing of the Legislature’s Health and Human Services Committee.

NY: Janus, We Hardly Knew You: Rank-and-File Union Members Remain in the Dark About a Pivotal Dues Case Headed to the Supreme Court (Includes video)

74 – January 22, 2018

The case, brought by an Illinois child welfare worker, challenges the constitutionality of agency fees – what unions charge non-members for their share of collective bargaining costs – on the basis of free speech.

OK: Oklahoma makes progress in foster-care capacity

Tulsa World – January 25, 2018

A national report shows Oklahoma bucking the trend on the number of children entering foster care and having the greatest increase in foster-care capacity. The report by the Chronicle of Social Change, touting itself as the “first ever report of its kind,” analyzed state data from 2012 through 2017 to determine whether the government is providing enough supports to provide placements for foster children and youth.

Also: Report: The Foster Care Housing Crisis: As the number of foster youth continues to rise in America, many state child welfare systems struggle to recruit and keep enough foster homes:

RI: RI principals attend course about reporting abuse allegations (Includes video)

WJAR – January 24, 2018

Just days after a Providence principal was convicted of failing to report a sex assault allegation on her watch, principals from around Rhode Island gathered for a training session. Principal Violet LeMar faced charges under a new Rhode Island law that requires the Department of Children, Youth and Families to be notified immediately after abuse allegations of are made.

SC: SC having hard time keeping caseworkers as abuse, neglect caseloads grow

State – January 24, 2018

Alford said Social Services is able to hire caseworkers. But, she added, “We’re having trouble keeping them.” Social Services is charged with protecting children under 18 years old from abuse and neglect. However, for years, a shortage of caseworkers has crippled the agency, which has been under scrutiny by the General Assembly for failing to properly oversee children in its charge who later died.

TX: News Roundup: Ken Paxton Makes Good on His Threat to Appeal Foster Care Ruling (Includes audio)

Texas Standard – January 24, 2018

Texas is fighting a judge’s final order in a nearly seven-year-long class action lawsuit that mandates sweeping changes to the state’s foster care system.

UT: Utah Lawmakers OK Bill Legalizing Free-Range Parenting (Includes video)

Associated Press – January 23, 2018

Free-range parenting is a modern buzzword for families aiming to raise self-sufficient kids, but how much freedom at what age remains a fierce debate. Now, a Utah lawmaker wants to make sure moms and dads don’t find themselves under investigation for allowing mature kids with good judgment to do things alone such as travel to school, explore a playground or stay in their parents’ car. Some question whether the measure is needed. Utah authorities don’t want to micromanage parents, but leaving kids to fend for themselves is sometimes dangerous, said Salt Lake County District Attorney Sim Gill.

WA: A division on foster care in Olympia (Commentary)

Crosscut – January 24, 2018

Whose voice should count most in legal decisions about the future of kids removed from their homes because of suspected abuse or neglect? Various factions of grown-ups – birth parents whose children have been removed by Child Protective Services, relatives who take many of those children into their homes, and licensed foster parents – all want their say.

WV: Drugs blamed for West Virginia ‘child welfare crisis’

Associated Press – January 24, 2018

West Virginia’s Department of Health and Human Resources says the state is facing growing numbers of children going in foster care and a shortage of workers in child protective services. Addressing the state Senate Finance Committee, Deputy Secretary Jeremiah Samples says the issue is driven by the state’s drug crisis.

US: Artificial Intelligence is Racist Yet Computer Algorithms are Deciding Who Goes to Prison (Includes video) (Opinion)

Newsweek – January 24, 2018

If an algorithm describes me as risky-that I won’t show up for court if released, that I might get arrested again, that my child should be taken by Child Protective Services, that I shouldn’t be eligible for a mortgage-shouldn’t I have the right to face my accuser? Factors about me and my family that might raise alarms for “risk” in pretrial systems or in child welfare offices are often correlated with poverty. And factors correlated with “risk” of not showing up for court can be easily ameliorated by providing people with the reminders, transportation, childcare, or other supports they need.

US: How Protestant Churches Are Involved with Adoption and Foster Care

Christianity Today – January 24, 2018

The Bible has a lot to say about caring for orphans. Protestant churches in the United States appear to be listening. About 4 in 10 Protestant churchgoers say their congregation has been involved with adoption or foster care in the past year, according to LifeWay Research.

Information Gateway resource: Working With Faith-Based Communities:

US: Larry Nassar, former USA Gymnastics doctor, sentenced to 40-175 years for sex crimes (Includes video)

Washington Post – January 24, 2018

After seven days of listening to more than 160 girls, women and parents describe the impact of his sexual abuse, disgraced gymnastics physician Larry Nassar turned to the courtroom Wednesday and quietly attempted an apology, saying, “There are no words that can describe the depth and breadth for how sorry I am for what has occurred.”

Also: Michigan State President Resigns; US Olympic Committee Face Fallout of Larry Nassar Sentencing:

Also: After the Larry Nassar Scandal: Expert Weighs in on Moving Forward (Includes audio):

Also: ‘This is Just the Beginning.’ Gymnast Aly Raisman Vows to Fight Larry Nassar’s Enablers (Includes video):

US: Study Finds Spanked Children Are More Likely To Have Developmental Delays

IFLScience – January 23, 2018

Do you spank your child to discipline them, or were you spanked as a child yourself? It may be a controversial subject to talk about, but an increasing amount of evidence suggests that it’s unwise and dangerous.


Bangladesh: Rohingya Refugee Response: Education & Child Protection in Emergencies – Joint Rapid Needs Assessment (2017)

Relief Web – January 25, 2018

Cox’s Bazar Education Sector and Child Protection Sub-Sector partners conducted the Joint Rapid Education and Child Protection Need Assessment (JRNA) between the 4th to 6th December 2017. The main objective of the JRNA was to identify education and child protection needs, priorities and capacities of Rohingya boys and girls in the camps, settlements and host community in Cox’s Bazar, to inform and provide the evidence-base for the 2018 Joint Response Plan (JRP).

Also: Report: Education & Child Protection in Emergencies: Joint Rapid Needs Assessment Rohingya Refugee Response 2017:

Bulgaria: The Prime Minister has Requested Dismissal of the Director of the Child Protection Agency

Sofia News Agency – January 24, 2018

Prime Minister Boyko Borisov submitted a proposal to the Council of Ministers for the release of Ophelia Kaneva as chairman of the State Agency for Child Protection. The motive for the change proposed by Prime Minister Borisov in the SACP leadership is the failure to take adequate measures against the violence in the home for children and youth with disabilities “Chrysanthemum” in Gabrovo.

Canada: Behind the statistics: The story of 2 Indigenous children on the brink of becoming court wards

CBC News – January 24, 2018

Provincial child welfare authorities in Ottawa filed an application in court this month seeking to place two Indigenous children under permanent state care with the aim of adopting them out. It’s a move, that if successful, would add to what has been described as a “humanitarian crisis” by Indigenous Services Minister Jane Philpott. Philpott is holding an emergency meeting with provincial and territorial ministers in Ottawa on Thursday and Friday in hopes of finding a way to stop the critical overrepresentation of Indigenous children in child welfare systems across the country.

Also: Get on with tackling outstanding issues with Indigenous child welfare: Sinclair:


AZ: Child Advocacy Group “Both Ends Believing” Adds Chief Operating Officer (Press release)

Both Ends Believing – January 23, 2018

Both Ends Believing is pleased to announce that Frank Garrott has joined the operating team as chief operating officer.

CA: Donations Pour in for 13 Siblings Held Captive in Perris

NBC Los Angeles – January 23, 2018

More than $120,000 has been donated to help 13 siblings in California who authorities say were kept chained to beds for months by their parents and starved so much that their growth was stunted, officials said Tuesday. The Riverside University Health System Foundation, which is collecting donations for the family, had received 1,514 donations by Tuesday morning, said spokeswoman Kim Trone. People from across the world have also been sending toys, blankets and clothing for the siblings, she said.

CO: Reports of child abuse on the rise in El Paso County (Includes video)

KOAA – January 23, 2018

Even though it may seem like an alarming trend, the silver lining for caseworkers is that the spike in calls means people are actually using these resources and they view their added workload as proof that the hotline is working. “The most important thing is people are calling,” said Krystal Grint, Manager of Child Protection, “and we shouldn’t necessarily think it’s only negative that, you know, we’ve seen an increase but also how we’ve reached out to individuals who are able to make those reports.”

IA: Tiny suicide prevention bill could save Iowa teenagers’ lives (Includes video) (Commentary)

Des Moines Register – January 23, 2018

Nothing in Iowa law requires that teachers and other educators be capable of recognizing these danger signals and getting appropriate help. That may change this year, as a result of legislation currently seeing bipartisan cooperation at the Iowa Statehouse.

Information Gateway resource: Crisis Intervention in Child Abuse and Neglect:

KY: Bevin’s budget could provide relief for Hardin County’s social workers

News-Enterprise – January 24, 2018

Kentucky law mandates state social workers handle no more than 25 active cases per worker. However, that’s not always possible in Hardin County. Assistant County Attorney Dawn Blair said some social workers in Hardin County have caseloads in excess of 40.

MI: Victims in Larry Nassar Abuse Case Find a Fierce Advocate: The Judge (Includes video)

New York Times – January 23, 2018

Judge Aquilina’s vow to let every victim speak has also unexpectedly turned the hearing into a cathartic forum that has emboldened dozens of women who had remained silent to come forward with accounts of abuse by Dr. Nassar. Court officials initially had expected 88 young women to speak when the hearing began last week, but the number is expected to top 150 by the time these proceedings conclude, likely Wednesday morning.

Also: N.C.A.A. Opens Investigation of Michigan State Over Nassar Case:

Also: NCAA sends letter of inquiry to Michigan State regarding Larry Nassar sex abuse case:

Also: Nassar surrounded by adults who enabled his predatory behavior:

MN: Minnesota Opioid crisis strains Minnesota’s child protection system

St. Cloud Times – January 21, 2018

“We have never seen anything remotely like this,” said Dennis Frazier, a child protection worker in St. Louis County in northeast Minnesota. “The opioid crisis moved so fast, like a sonic boom, and we were caught unprepared.”

MS: Child Protection Services deficit request slashed

Daily Journal – January 23, 2018

The deficit for the current fiscal year for the newly created agency of Child Protection Services has been reduced from more than $50 million to $12 million, the House Appropriations Committee was told Tuesday. Jess Dickinson, Child Protection Services executive director, said the deficit has been reduced by pooling resources with the Department of Human Services to draw down federal funds, by enacting a hiring freeze and by postponing the development of a new computer system.

Also: Mississippi foster care program hit with budget shortfall:

Also: Mississippi Department of Child Protection Services Commissioner Jess Dickinson (Video):

ND: North Dakota Seeks Input from Foster Parents, Stakeholders

Chronicle of Social Change – January 23, 2018

As part of its Continuous Quality Improvement (CQI) strategy, the North Dakota Department of Human Services’ Children and Family Services (CFS) division will begin the process of conducting onsite case reviews (OCR) this week in meetings with licensed foster and adoptive families, as well as relative caregivers.

NE: State senator says legislature must oversee child welfare system in wake of abuse cases

KPVI – January 23, 2018

A state senator says the legislature has a role to play as the state addresses cases of sexual abuse within the child welfare system. Nebraska’s Child Welfare Inspector General reported 50 cases of sexual abuse of state wards in a roughly three-year period.

NH: Foster parents call for better treatment by DCYF

Union Leader – January 23, 2018

Foster parents Dylan and Jaime Remenar take helpless children in crisis into their home, and are trusted with some of the state’s most challenging cases. On Tuesday, the Belmont couple spoke out against what they say is mistreatment of foster parents by the state agency assigned to protect children in New Hampshire, the Division for Children, Youth and Families.

NM: CYFD has to do better job caring for its charges (Opinion)

Quay County Sun – January 24, 2018

CYFD must do some serious soul-searching to improve its response and policies to protect these precious children – children already traumatized by situations and adults in their lives, children entrusted to the state to be placed into the care of adults who are paid with public money to ensure each one’s safety.

NV: Homeschooling child abuse can happen here too: Etchart (Includes video)(Commentary)

Reno Gazette-Journal – January 23, 2018

The same abuse lurking in Perris can happen here too. Nevada has far fewer protective homeschooling laws than California, and the Nevada legislature has actually relaxed our laws over time. This trend must be reversed.

OH: Study seeks to address burnout, turnover among child welfare workers

Journal-News – January 23, 2018

The research will take place over the next four years in Montgomery, Clark, Champaign, Hamilton, Knox, Summit, Trumbull and Wayne counties. It’s being conducted by the Quality Improvement Center for Workforce Development, part of the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services’ Children’s Bureau.

OK: Mental health agency wants new funding to fight marijuana addiction as ballot measure on medical cannabis looms

Frontier – January 16, 2018

Oklahoma’s mental health agency wants $3.5 million in new state funding to battle marijuana addiction and claims an upcoming ballot measure to legalize medical cannabis could exacerbate the problem.

RI: Child advocate urges DCYF to end ties to 2 Pawtucket group homes

Providence Journal – January 23, 2018

State Child Advocate Jennifer Griffith alleges that residents live virtually unsupervised without adequate treatment, are “openly admitting” to drug use, and that the agency’s executive director provided “numerous false documents” during an investigation.

TX: Foster kids cannot wait for Texas to fight a court order to protect their safety (Commentary)

Dallas Morning News – January 23, 2018

Last week Judge Jack released her order specifying the remedial steps and policies the state must implement, with progress to be monitored and reported back periodically. The 5th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals issued an administrative stay of the order to allow time to address the question of whether Judge Jack’s order should be stayed pending the outcome of an appeal. In the year or longer before a ruling on the merits of the appeal, so many Texas children will be impacted. At the end of last year, 2,680 Dallas County children were living in substitute care as wards of the state.

UT: ‘Free Range Kids’ bill passes Utah Senate committee (Includes video)

Fox 13 – January 23, 2018

A bill that makes it no longer a crime for parents to let their children walk home alone from school or play outside alone has passed a Utah Senate committee. Senate Bill 65, sponsored by Sen. Lincoln Fillmore, R-South Jordan, modifies child neglect law in Utah to allow for so-called “free range kids.”

VA: Help Trafficking Victims ‘Hiding in Plain Sight’ in DC Area (Video)

WRC-TV – January 23, 2018

Prince George’s County Family Justice Center Director Denise McCain talks about how human trafficking isn’t a third-world problem. “It’s going on right here in our communities,” she said. But you can help by educating yourself on how to identify signs of trafficking.

WI: Bill would create harsher child neglect laws (Includes video)

WMTV – January 23, 2018

This bill says, “Any person who is responsible for a child’s welfare who negligently fails, for reasons other than poverty, to provide the child with necessary care or contributes to the failure is guilty of the crime of neglect.”

WI: La Crosse Tribune editorial board: Foster-care system in Wisconsin needs overhaul

La Crosse Tribune – January 23, 2018

In a rare display of bipartisanship in Madison, a legislative committee was created with 13 members of both parties to explore the problems and listen to some of the frightening, heart-rending stories of those involved in the crisis. The state’s Department of Children and Families oversees the foster-care program, which is run by counties.

WI: Meth abuse displaces hundreds of Chippewa County children (Includes video)

WEAU – January 23, 2018

The human services department says meth addiction is overwhelming the county system and causing health leaders to take action. Director Larry Winter says the county wants to prevent drug-addicted expectant mothers from avoiding treatment by getting involved in a prenatal program.

WI: New bill will help foster kids go to college (Includes video)

Fox 47 – January 22, 2018

For the large majority of students in the foster care system, however, going to college is rarely a reality. A new bill being discussed at the Capitol would aim to change that culture. Any foster kid between 13 and 25 years old would be eligible for a grant of up to $30,000 per year to attend several colleges and schools within the University of Wisconsin and Wisconsin Technical College systems.

US: The Power of Domestic Adoption

National Review – January 24, 2018

It can take years to adopt a baby from another country, but thousands of American babies are in desperate need of a stable, loving home.

US: A new computer algorithm could help child protection agencies (Includes audio)

KPCC – January 23, 2018

For workers at child protection agencies, deciding whether or not to check on a family that’s been reported for possible abuse is complicated. Emily Putnam-Hornstein, an associate professor at the University of Southern California’s school of social work, is one of the creators of a new tool to help in these situations. It’s called the Allegheny Family Screening Tool.

US: Former U.S. champion Mattie Larson calls for stricter mandatory reporting laws

ESPN – January 23, 2018

Former U.S. national champion gymnast Mattie Larson called on House Speaker Paul Ryan on Tuesday to push through a proposed law that would stiffen mandatory reporter laws for U.S. amateur athletic organizations. Larson detailed the abuse she received while competing for the U.S. gymnastics team during the sentencing hearing of convicted serial sexual predator Larry Nassar. She saw Nassar — formerly the national medical coordinator for USA Gymnastics — for several injuries, and no matter the part of her body that was injured, the disgraced doctor would find a way to abuse her, she said.

US: Un-burying the lead: Public health tools are the key to beating the opioid epidemic

Brookings Institution – January 23, 2018

In “Un-burying the lead: Public health tools are the key to beating the opioid epidemic” (PDF), Brookings nonresident senior fellow Dayna Bowen Matthew looks at the report’s recommendations and draws parallels between today’s crisis and other historic drug epidemics, to examine the public health lessons policymakers can learn.

Also: Report: Un-burying the lead: Public health tools are the key to beating the opioid epidemic:

US: What that horrible story about imprisoned children says about America (Commentary)

Washington Post – January 23, 2018

The case is getting a lot of attention – now. It’s a horrifying story, all but made for tabloid journalism and its modern successor, viral online content. It hits every button out there – the Turpins even owned two very cute dogs – dogs, let me add, that were well fed and otherwise treated much better then the couple’s children. It has even opened a debate on homeschooling, which the couple claimed to be doing and which allowed them to avoid the scrutiny of teachers. But something getting less notice? The role of all neighbors, observers and others who had dealings with the family. And this deserves a lot more scrutiny.


CA: The Turpin child abuse story fits a widespread and disturbing homeschooling pattern (Commentary)

Los Angeles Times – January 17, 2018

After 13 children were found emaciated and imprisoned in their Perris home on Sunday, the gruesome Turpin family story made international headlines – no doubt in part because it seemed so extreme, so unusual. But it fits a pattern of abuse cases involving homeschooled children. As homeschool graduates, we know homeschooling can provide a child-centered, positive education. We also know that it can fail children completely, with gut-wrenching results.

CA: What’s next for 13 siblings allegedly starved, held captive in parents’ home (Includes video)

ABC News – January 17, 2018

The children — who authorities say claimed to be starving — were given food and interviewed, the sheriff’s office said, and then were hospitalized for treatment. Seven of the alleged victims were adults and the others were children as young as 2.

DC: Bowser Says D.C. General Family Homeless Shelter Will Close This Year (Includes audio)

WAMU – January 22, 2018

Over the weekend, city officials started informing the 242 families currently at D.C. General – 296 adults and 415 children – of the plan to close the shelter by the fall, first by stopping new admissions by May and then working with existing families to either move them into motel rooms, the six new neighborhood-based shelters that will open over the next year, or into other housing options.

FL: Senate takes first steps to reform juvenile justice system after series exposed abuse (Includes video)

Miami Herald – January 17, 2018

The first steps in a series of reforms designed to increase oversight and accountability in state prison and juvenile justice facilities were passed Tuesday by a key committee of the Florida Senate.

IN: WSBT 22 Fact Finder: How safe is home-schooling in Indiana? (Includes video)

WSBT – January 17, 2018

The Indiana Department of Education says in addition to reporting your enrollment, Indiana law requires 180 days of instruction and records to verify attendance. If there is ever a question of educational neglect, the DOE says keeping good attendance records and records on continuing educational activity can help address concerns.

MD: A painful lesson on child sexual abuse

NJ Jewish News – January 17, 2018

As a result, despite the fact that experts at Child Protective Services determined that the rabbi may have sexually abused young boys, ages 7 and 8 – in his role as a counselor at a Jewish summer day camp two summers ago – he continues to teach youngsters in a day school and lead a Shabbat service for children with disabilities.

MT: 12 children involved in child protective services died over the last year

Independent Record – January 17, 2018

Fourteen deaths were reported as required by state law, but of those, 12 involved a report made to the state’s child protective services before the death.

NM: AG seeks to expand child abuse reporting law

Albuquerque Journal – January 22, 2018

State Attorney General Hector Balderas is backing legislation aimed at making it more difficult for teachers accused of abusing a child to move from one district to another, unnoticed by authorities.

Also: New Mexico attorney general sees loophole in child abuse law:

NV: Las Vegas youth center will expand to 24-hour service

Las Vegas Review-Journal – January 22, 2018

The county’s juvenile assessment center will be open 24/7 by Valentine’s Day, according to Juvenile Justice Services director John “Jack” Martin. Known as The Harbor, the center has coordinated mental health and other intervention services for children since October 2016. The goal is to keep kids from entering the juvenile justice system.

OR: Editorial: Proposed bill would protect intellectually disabled parents

Bend Bulletin – January 17, 2018

A proposed bill would provide additional protections to Oregon parents with intellectual disabilities. Legislative Concept 106 would revise current law, requiring a judge to identify dangerous actions and behaviors to justify removing children from parents with disabilities.

OR: Nonprofit that supports foster care system launches in Linn and Benton counties

Corvallis Gazette-Times – January 17, 2018

A new nonprofit organization in Linn and Benton counties is seeking to address Oregon’s foster care crisis with respite care. Every Child connects volunteers who wish to support the foster care system with opportunities, whether baby-sitting for a foster family, helping the Department of Human Services renovate visitation rooms or donating household items to foster children aging out of the system.

RI: Several R.I. school chiefs unaware of stricter laws for reporting suspected sex abuse

Providence Journal – January 22, 2018

During a bench trial last week in District Court, Providence Supt. Christopher N. Maher testified that he wasn’t aware of the state’s new mandatory reporting law until one of his principals was charged with breaking it by failing to promptly report allegations to DCYF.

Also: Providence principal guilty of failing to report sex assault allegations:

TX: AG Paxton Issues Statement on Today’s Foster Care Ruling

Katy News – January 22, 2018

“The Legislature approved and Governor Abbott signed landmark legislation last year to fund improvements in Texas’ foster care system. Unfunded and unrealistic mandates ordered by an unelected federal judge are misguided. We will immediately appeal this unfortunate decision.”

Also: Ruling:

TX: Sherin Mathews’ death may lead US to frame ‘Sherin’s Law’ which prevents parents from leaving children alone

Firstpost – January 22, 2018

The tragic death of three-year-old Indian girl Sherin Mathews may lead to a new law in the US state of Texas which would make it a felony to leave a child alone at home, a media report quoted activists as saying.

Also: ‘Sherin law’ to stop parents leaving their kids at home:

TX: Stevens and Pruett ranch prepares to open foster home for girls in Rosharon

Houston Chronicle – January 22, 2018

The 38-acre ranch is preparing to again welcome children and teenagers from the foster-care system and give them a permanent home on land that also offers a sanctuary for abused horses.

VA: Virginia Considers Bills to Protect Students From Teachers Who Admitted Abuse (Includes video)

WRC-TV – January 22, 2018

The Virginia House of Delegates Health Committee approved two new pieces of legislation to better protect school kids from teachers who previously admitted abusing children. One bill requires Child Protective Services agencies to notify school districts if they find a former teacher engaged in child abuse. The second bill requires Child Protective Services agencies to notify the state Department of Education if they find a former teacher engaged in child abuse.

WV: Medicaid savings to apply to other West Virginia programs

Associated Press – January 19, 2018

Crouch says the unused state money will be redirected to other areas in the department including child protective services and cost increases at state hospitals and economic development.

US: Perris torture case raises the question: When should you call police with suspicions about neighbors?

Riverside Press-Enterprise – January 22, 2018

Many people don’t report their suspicions because they’re afraid they’ll get into trouble or be sued, Antisdel said. People who report abuse won’t get in trouble because reports are anonymous, Parks said. But if you suspect abuse and won’t make the call, tell a mandated reporter – someone who’s required by law to notify authorities of possible abuse. That includes school and daycare staff, clergy, medical staff including dentists and nurses, and social workers.

Also: Breaking the Silence: How to Encourage Family and Neighbors to Report Child Abuse (Commentary):

Information Gateway resource: Identification of Child Abuse & Neglect:


AR: Youths-jail druthers hit budget snag

Northwest Arkansas Democrat Gazette – January 22, 2018

Stagnant funding for the state’s youth services agency poses challenges for advocates who seek to overhaul Arkansas’ juvenile justice system by moving away from jailing youths.

AZ: Lawmakers seek to undo KidsCare freeze they imposed two years ago (Includes video)

Arizona Republic – January 18, 2018

State lawmakers are working to reverse a decision that would freeze enrollment in KidsCare, a children’s health-insurance program that currently serves nearly 25,000 Arizona kids.

CA: Voices for Children Appoints New CEO

San Diego Business Journal – January 21, 2018

John Valencia has been named president and CEO of Voices for Children (VFC), the San Diego nonprofit organization that provides trained volunteer Court Appointed Special Advocates (CASAs) for children in foster care.

DC: Identifying and training kids at risk of human trafficking in DC

WTOP – January 19, 2018

Children who have been abused, abandoned or left vulnerable by their family situation are at the highest risk to become victims of human trafficking, experts say. And the District is determined to identify them before they’re lost.

Information Gateway resource: Human Trafficking: Protecting Our Youth:

IA: Iowa should end independent private instruction (Includes video) (Commentary)

Des Moines Register – January 19, 2018

Iowans don’t even know how many Iowa children are supposedly receiving independent private instruction, the option created in 2013 for private or religious-based home schooling. We can only guess because no enrollment is required.

IN: Indiana chief justice tells lawmakers courts are taking action to combat state’s opioid crisis

NWI – January 21, 2018

Rush said the state court system is prepared to do even more to address Indiana’s most emergent challenge if given the opportunity. “This is a situation where well-reasoned, evidence-based judicial interventions can get people to treatment, give consequences, cut the supply, support families and save lives,” Rush said.

IN: Lawmakers Consider Foster Care Student Outcomes Legislation (Includes audio)

WBOI – January 19, 2018

A House committee has approved legislation to track foster children and their success in schools. The bill would require the Indiana Department of Education and the Department of Child Services to gather data on foster care students in public schools – specifically, the graduation rates and enrollment data for those students.

IN: SIDDIQUI: DCS is troubled-and not for the reason you think (Commentary)

Indiana Business Journal – January 19, 2018

In December, Indiana Department of Child Services Director Mary Beth Bonaventura, a former judge, submitted her resignation, citing concerns about staffing cuts, budget cuts and political appointments that she said strip her position of power and jeopardize her relationship with providers.

KY: Under Bevin’s budget, better days could be ahead for foster children and social workers (Includes video)

Louisville Courier Journal – January 19, 2018

While virtually every area of state government would be cut – and money for 70 programs entirely eliminated – Bevin has proposed putting millions of dollars into social services.

MA: Dare Family Services becomes HopeWell, moves to Dedham

Local Wicked Dedham – January 20, 2018

“Our new name expresses our mission,” said Shaheer Mustafa, president and CEO. “To enrich lives and empower individuals through professional expertise, data-driven best practices, and one-on- one nurturing. The agency’s founder, Gerry Wright, was a trailblazer in social services for youth and we plan to honor that tradition.”

MI: Foster care youth struggle to find housing after aging out of system (Includes video)

WWMT – January 21, 2018

Life after foster care can be difficult for some young people, including finding affordable housing and steady income. Five 21-year-olds, who asked not to be identified, live in a small apartment together due to their aging out of the foster care system at the age of 18.

MN: Opioid crisis strains Minnesota’s child protection system

Tribune Content Agency – January 21, 2018

The opioid epidemic that has ravaged communities across Minnesota is also wreaking havoc on the lives of hundreds of children whose parents abuse drugs.

MT: Prosecutors: Caseworkers withholding child toxicology tests (Includes video)

Associated Press – January 19, 2018

The Division of Child and Family Services is not following a state law that requires it to release the results of toxicology tests performed on children in cases where they are suspected to have been exposed to illegal drugs, state prosecutors argue.

NC: From Orphanage to Opportunity: Indian American Leads Initiative to Empower Low-Income Children in North Carolina

India West – January 19, 2018

An Indian American community advocate, Stephanie Kripa Cooper-Lewter, has been named the new executive director of Leading On Opportunity, a Mecklenburg County, North Carolina, initiative aiming to improve the lives of local children who are born into poverty.

Also: Indian American woman to lead poverty alleviation initiative in North Carolina:

NE: Gov. Ricketts proposes additional $35 million for growing Child Welfare system (Includes video)

KOLN – January 21, 2018

From 2016 to 2017 Nebraska’s Child Welfare program in the state has grown 9 percent. That’s more than 400 kids that need either to stay in foster care, or be paced with a relative and out of custody from their parents. One of the additions to Ricketts’ budget is more funding to the state’s Children and family services.

NM: As state and federal agencies fight over pre-K students, funds and children get lost

Searchlight New Mexico – January 21, 2018

As New Mexico has expanded early education for toddlers over the past decade, the state has created a system that bars providers from mixing state and federal funds in the same classroom. It’s a policy – not a law – that effectively separates kids into rival programs, often divided by income. Head Start serves the lowest-income families in New Mexico; the state programs serve families from a range of income levels.

NY: Child Advocacy Center Has New Home, Old Problem

Oswego County Today – January 21, 2018

The Child Advocacy Center of Oswego County has a new home to help deal with an old problem. Located at 163 S. First St. in Fulton, with a satellite office at 4822 Salina St. in Pulaski, the CAC of Oswego County is a non-profit charitable organization that works hand-in-hand with local law enforcement, prosecution, child protective services, medical providers, therapy providers, and victim advocacy professionals in Oswego County to protect and serve children that are victims of sexual and physical abuse. The CAC moved from its old site to the Oswego Falls Business Center of South First Street in Fulton last November, said executive director Karrie Damm. The new location has more than three times the space and is more comfortable for the young victims, she added.

NY: Homeless Will Now Be Asked: Are You Fleeing Domestic Violence?

Pew Charitable Trust: Stateline – January 19, 2018

In its annual count of the city’s homeless population, New York in 2015 listed how many people fit into 10 different groups: nearly 4,000 chronically homeless, more than 8,000 severely mentally ill, 1,500 veterans, and so on. But when the list got to victims of domestic violence, the annual federally mandated count showed one striking number: zero. Far from the reality on the ground – nearly a third of homeless families with children have experienced domestic violence, according to the city’s Department of Social Services – the glaring statistical gap in the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development’s Point-in-Time count was a red flag for advocates who work with victims every day.

OR: Justice shouldn’t belong to only those Oregonians who can afford it: Guest opinion

Oregonian – January 21, 2018

Oregon’s Supreme Court has said that permanently terminating parental rights is one of the most extreme actions a state can take. Most Oregonians who need to defend against such an extreme act must rely on a court-appointed lawyer to protect their interests.

PA: Allentown Headstart program focuses on kids dealing with trauma (Includes audio)

WHYY – January 22, 2018

“We have gotten children that have needed to remain in the hospital for two weeks to be weaned of substances – whether it’s cocaine, whether it’s opiates, whether it’s prescription drugs,” said Lesak. “Sometimes we get a one- or a two-year old because a parent who was doing well is no longer doing well. Sometimes we get a one-, two-, or even two-and-a-half year old who was introduced to Children and Youth because the parent was actively using and the child was severely neglected.”

PA: OPED: Who speaks for the child? (Includes video)

York Dispatch – January 19, 2018

In 2016, according to the most updated numbers from the PA Department of Human Services, 46 children died of abuse in our commonwealth. Another 79 children nearly died, and 4,616 children were abused. Those are only the cases we know about. And we know about most of them because someone cared enough about these children to report their suspicions of abuse to ChildLine, the state’s 24/7 hotline.

PA: Pa. counties call on state government to better support local public services

WHYY – January 19, 2018

All 67 counties in Pennsylvania signed on to a list of seven priorities they hope to achieve in 2018, in a statement released this week by the County Commissioners Association of Pennsylvania. But the local leaders say they cannot achieve their goals alone.

TX: El Paso County to be testing ground for privatization of Child Protective Services (Includes video)

El Paso Times – January 19, 2018

As part of a larger push to reform the state’s troubled foster care system, Child Protective Services is moving forward with a plan to privatize a program in which caseworkers monitor homes where a risk of child abuse or neglect has been identified.

TX: Judge: Texas’ foster care remains flawed, must be monitored

Abilene Reporter-News – January 19, 2018

The same judge that ruled Texas’ state-run foster care system violated the constitutional rights of the children it was sworn to protect ruled Friday that it still must be overseen by the court. “Two years and one legislative session later, the foster care system of Texas remains broken,” wrote Federal Judge Janis Graham Jack of Corpus Christi.

Also: Judge orders more reforms to “broken” Texas foster care:

Also: Federal judge says Texas still needs oversight to fix its ‘broken’ foster care system:

Also: Federal judge orders sweeping improvements to Texas foster care, ignoring state objections:

Also: Appeals court temporarily halts federal judge’s order that Texas make big improvements in foster care:

Also: AG Paxton Files Appeal Opposing Today’s Foster Care Ruling )Press release):

VA: Panel OKs bill targeting child abusers in school

Capital News Service – January 19, 2018

In 2013, a loophole allowed an Arlington County teacher accused of sexual abuse to find a job as an assistant principal in Prince George’s County, Maryland, where he worked for more than three years before his license was revoked last May. In hopes of closing that loophole, a committee in the Virginia House of Delegates has unanimously approved legislation aimed at identifying alleged sex offenders who have worked in the state’s public schools so they can’t move to another school system.

WA: Foster Parents Advocate for Stronger Rights

Seattle Weekly – January 19, 2018

Advocates hope to revamp the current system to ease the toll on kids and their foster families.

WA: Need for foster parents reaches ‘crisis’ status in Spokane, Washington state (Includes video)

KREM 2 – January 19, 2018

Washington state and the city of Spokane are experiencing a foster parent crisis. “In general the need has been rising because overall across the country as opioid use has risen,” she said. “When people are struggling with addiction they often can’t care for their children.”

WA: Yakima area’s homeless youth, young adult population growing

Yakima Herald-Republic – January 19, 2018

Yakima’s overall homeless problem is long-standing and quite obvious, but less visible is a rapidly growing population of homeless youths and young adults, such as Butler, with few services to help them. For example, there’s no permanent overnight shelter in Yakima for minors, and placing young adults at facilities with older people could leave them vulnerable to sex trafficking, sexual exploitation and other problems, service providers say.

WI: Speaker’s Task Force on Foster Care’s Legislative Proposals Moving Forward Quickly (Commentary)

State Bar of Wisconsin – January 22, 2018

Following the establishment of the Speaker’s Task Force on Foster Care, a new legislative package of 13 bills, called Foster Forward, was introduced. Megan DeVore talks about the Foster Forward bills and their potential to bring significant changes to the child welfare system in Wisconsin.

WI: Democrats urge Wisconsin AG to sue pharmaceutical companies over opioid deaths

Wisconsin Gazette – January 19, 2018

Thirty-six legislators are calling on Wisconsin Attorney General Brad Schimel to sue pharmaceutical companies for deceptive and fraudulent marketing practices to sell dangerous prescription drugs.

WI: Walker signs orders on opioids

Leader Herald – January 19, 2018

Gov. Scott Walker was in Eau Claire on Friday to sign two executive orders aimed at curbing opioid abuse in Wisconsin. The orders, which the GOP governor signed in a ceremony at the Eau Claire County sheriff’s office, reflect recommendations from the Governor’s Task Force on Opioid Abuse.

Also: Governor Walker Takes Additional Action to Fight Opioid Crisis (Press release):

US: As shutdown continues, Children’s Health Insurance hangs in the balance

Governing – January 22, 2018

Unable to strike a budget deal, the federal government shut down on Saturday, causing the most uncertainty to date for providers and patients in the Children’s Health Insurance Program (CHIP), which Congress let expire more than 100 days ago.

US: Turpin Case Shows Risks of Not Monitoring Home Schools (Commentary)

Child Welfare Monitor – January 22, 2018

Homeschooling is increasing in popularity in the United States. About 3.3 percent of the school-aged population was homeschooled in America in 2016. This is nearly double the percentage tin 1999. Clearly most of their parents are not abusive and want to provide the best education for their children, often at great personal sacrifice. But available evidence suggests that the most severe cases of abuse and neglect, often fatal, tend to involve homeschooling.

US: Childhood trauma, lifelong damage

Searchlight New Mexico – January 21, 2018

Today, everyone should be talking about ACEs (Adverse Childhood Experiences). That’s the view of a growing legion of experts who regard childhood trauma as one of the most profound and urgent public health challenges in the country.

US: Danette Mitchell: Foster children at risk of human trafficking

Reporter – January 21, 2018

Children in foster care are disproportionately victimized by human trafficking, according to a study released last year “Foster Care and Human Trafficking: a state-by-state evaluation.” While the United States has increased its efforts to fight against human trafficking and developed policies to confront the issue, one of the areas that rarely headlines is the connection between foster care and human trafficking. We are not focusing enough attention on these children, discussed in the study.

Report: Foster Care and Human Trafficking: A State-by-State Evaluation:

US: In reporting on kids driven into foster care by opioids, lack of data becomes the story

Center for Health Journalism – January 19, 2018

Many states hit hard by the opioid crisis are also seeing a spike in foster care placements. Yet despite evidence of a serious problem, there’s no way to specify which drugs, exactly, are pushing kids into the system. In most cases, the broad designation of “substance abuse” is all that gets logged by social workers on the ground.

US: The Sexual Abuse to Prison Pipeline

ParentMap – January 19, 2018

Child sex trafficking in America thrives almost entirely on the exploitation of our most vulnerable citizens: children of color, particularly girls, who have been sexually abused, live at or below the poverty line, or are part of the child welfare system.

US: Want to help the 13 tortured Turpin kids…avoid the here…

WHO – January 19, 2018

As horrific as the case of the Turpin siblings is, it’s not surprising that people want to help them. In fact, Child Protective Services has been receiving thousands of calls from people all across the country who want to help. But it’s that generous spirit that has seen a number of bogus GoFundMe pages set up trying to scam kind people out of money. Thing is? There is ONLY ONE legal fund that is set up. It’s courtesy of the Riverside University Health Center Foundation, and the donations collected will go directly to the siblings.

Also: City of Perris creates GoFundMe account to help siblings recover from torture:


Canada: Mom plans to give birth in secret as politicians hold emergency meeting on child welfare (Includes video)

APTN News – January 19, 2018

Indigenous leaders, provincial and territorial leaders and advocates are heading to Ottawa next week for an emergency meeting on child welfare where the overrepresentation of Indigenous children in care will be at the forefront of the conversations.

Europe: UNICEF Refugee and Migrant Crisis in Europe: Regional Humanitarian Situation Report #26, 15 January 2018

Relief Web – January 15, 2018

In 2017, more than 171,300 people entered Europe through the Mediterranean. Some 32,000 of them were children, including at least 17,500 unaccompanied and separated children.

Also: UK, France agree on new border security measures:

Also: UK to accept 260 unaccompanied minors from France:

Malta: Social workers escalate industrial action

Times of Malta – January 20, 2018

Social welfare service employees will not step foot in schools, hospitals and police stations come Tuesday, as they escalate the industrial action pending an agreement over their pay. Two weeks ago, U?M Voice of the Workers ordered its members at the Foundation for Social Welfare Services to follow directives that included refusing to use means of communication, saying no progress had been registered in collective agreement talks.


CA: Salvadorans in LA Brace for Change

MSN – January 17, 2018

If parents are placed in immigration detention or deported, the underage children of TPS holders could theoretically end up entangled in the foster care system, an outcome that would be not just deeply traumatic for the children involved but also financially burdensome for the state.

GA: Georgia Senate approves adoption bill despite governor’s objections

Atlanta Journal-Constitution – January 18, 2018

“We think this is best for the children of Georgia, as well as parents in Georgia,” said state Senate Majority Leader Bill Cowsert, R-Athens.

Also: Georgia leaders want to streamline adoption; time ticking to figure out a consensus:

Also: Gov. Deal tweets adoption bill reservations:–regional-govt–politics/georgia-senate-approves-adoption-bill-despite-governor-objections/vbgoAPG19lRTma0gY3Y69K/

IA: After Report, DHS Director Jerry Foxhoven Tells Lawmakers How He Plans to Fix Department (Includes video)

WHO – January 19, 2018

Foxhoven says one of the first issues he wanted to tackle after taking the job was finding out how to improve the quality of foster parents. The state outsources the recruitment of foster parents, and Foxhoven says they will be requiring prospective foster parents to meet higher requirements in order to be considered.

Report: Iowa Department of Human Services Initial Targeted Child Welfare Review:

Also: Iowa DHS director on child welfare improvements: ‘I am doing everything we can do’ (Includes video):

Iowa DHS director asks for time to reshape agency:

IN: HALE: Protecting children is great goal, mighty challenge (Commentary)

Indianapolis Business Journal – January 19, 2018

Indiana has more children in its child welfare system than does any surrounding state- including those with nearly twice Indiana’s overall population. Since 2012, the number of Indiana children who entered foster care because of parental drug abuse has increased 230 percent. At the same time, the number of children in care rose 79.4 percent in Illinois, 21.8 percent in Ohio, and 22.7 percent in Kentucky. In Michigan, the number of children entering foster care actually declined 2.3 percent.

IN: Bill would create bill of rights for foster parents (Includes video)

WTVW – January 18, 2018

“As a foster parent bill of rights, if we have something like this, we can all work together. Not in an adversarial way, but in a way to say ‘Hey, let’s talk about solutions to these issues,” said Curtis.

Also: Foster parents fight for bill of rights:

KY: Bevin’s budget proposal restores Kinship Care

Hardin County News-Enterprise – January 19, 2018

Doug Hogan, spokesman for the Cabinet for Health and Family Services, said the inclusion of the program reflects “the administration’s commitment to holistic reform to the child welfare system.” The budget proposal includes $10.8 million in new funding for adoption and foster children support and $34 million in new funding from tobacco settlement money to fight the opioid epidemic and substance abuse. Additionally, the budget has an additional $24 million to add positions and increase salaries for state social workers.

Also: Group voices Kentucky budget concerns as child advocates rally in Frankfort (Includes video):

MA: MSPCC to shut down Cape office

Cape Cod Times – January 16, 2018

The Massachusetts Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Children will shut down its only office on the Cape and Islands in early March, according to the nonprofit organization’s executive director. The Hyannis branch has been running at an unsustainable deficit mainly because of low MassHealth reimbursement, executive director Mary A. McGeown said. MassHealth pays for health care for certain low and medium income people living in Massachusetts.

MD: Advocates want bill to remove rapists’ parental rights (Includes video)

WBAL – January 18, 2018

The bill allows rape survivors who become pregnant by their attacker to petition the court to remove his parental rights, even with no conviction. Current law requires a felony rape conviction to remove them. The court will use the “yardstick of clear and convincing evidence” to make the decision. The standard is common in domestic abuse cases.

MD: Options help families offset adoption expenses

Cumberland Times-News – January 16, 2018

Some employers have an adoption assistance program that can be used to reimburse all or a portion of the cost of adopting a child. Up to $13,570 for 2017 qualifying benefits paid to associates under the program are tax free.The federal adoption tax credit is worth up to $13,570 for 2017, for each child adopted. Taxpayers who adopt a U.S. child with special needs can claim an exclusion (if the employer has a written qualified adoption assistance program), even if the employee didn’t pay any qualified adoption expenses, and a credit. A special needs child is one the state’s child welfare agency considers difficult to place for adoption.

MI: Nassar surrounded by adults who enabled his predatory behavior (Includes video)

ESPN – January 16, 2018

Understanding how Nassar gained unfettered access to young girls and young women over the course of a quarter-century — despite repeated warning signs — means confronting an uncomfortable truth: He didn’t gain that access alone. Nassar was surrounded by a collection of adults who enabled his predatory behavior. Now that so much of the Nassar tragedy has been exposed, a lingering question remains: Were each of those enablers complicit or simply conned by a man described as a master manipulator?

Also: Information Gateway resource: How to Report Suspected Child Maltreatment:

NC: Leading on Opportunity appoints Stephanie Kripa Cooper-Lewter as executive director

Q City Metro – January 16, 2018

Stephanie Kripa Cooper-Lewter, who was orphaned as an infant in Kanpur, India, will begin work Feb. 20. She will lead a wide-ranging initiative to improve the economic prospects of Mecklenburg County children born into poverty.

NM: Editorial: State must renew resolve to protect foster children

Albuquerque Journal – January 17, 2018

In large bureaucracies, things can slip through the cracks. But that absolutely cannot include 11-month-old babies. And yet it does. It is once again glaringly apparent that in New Mexico some children do not fare well within a system that is supposed to protect them.

TX: Andy Savage: Church confirms lawyer hired to investigate Savage ministry(Includes video)

USA Today – January 18, 2018

Fredricks’ work will be in addition to an assessment to be performed by MinistrySafe, also from Fort Worth, which will review Highpoint’s child protection practices, according to spokeswoman Kimberlee Norris. The developments are the result of a promised independent investigation the church said it would undertake after a woman came forward this month to say Savage had sexually assaulted her while she was a teen and he her youth pastor in Texas.

WI: Assembly Approves Bipartisan Alternative Drug Treatment Program (Press release)

Wisconsin Legislature – January 16, 2018

On the first floor period of the spring session, the Wisconsin State Assembly approved legislation that will pave the way for counties across the state to implement family drug treatment court programs. The legislation can create the infrastructure for an alternative drug rehabilitation program that focuses on developing sober households.

WI: Wisconsin Office of Children’s Mental Health Releases 2017 Report to the Legislature (Press release)

Wisconsin Office of Children’s Mental Health – January 16, 2018

The Wisconsin Office of Children’s Mental Health (OCMH) released its 2017 report to the Legislature featuring new data, as well as an update to the 2016 child well-being indicators tracking the well-being of Wisconsin’s children.

Also: 2017 Report to the Legislature:

Also: 2017 Office of Children’s Mental Health Report:

Also: Update to the 2016 child well-being indicators:

US: 2017 USHRN Human Rights Status Report Covers Indigenous Peoples (Press release)

Cultural Survival – January 18, 2018

Despite the 1978 Indian Child Welfare Act (ICWA), Native American children “are still being removed from their homes and communities at disproportionate rates, preventing Indigenous children from fully exercising their rights to culture and community . . . Of the 1,600 Cherokee youth in state custody, nearly 900 are outside the tribe’s jurisdiction.”

Also: Advancing Human Rights 2017: A Status Report on Human Rights in the United States:

US: After Larry Nassar, how to talk to kids about sexual abuse (Includes video)

Good Morning America – January 18, 2018

For Kiela Daley, a mother of a 7-year-old girl on a competitive gymnastics team in Rhode Island, watching the sentencing of former USA Olympic team doctor Larry Nassar for sexual misconduct has been emotionally charged and difficult to watch.–abc-news-parenting.html

US: Elizabeth Smart to California children allegedly kept prisoners by parents: ‘There is happiness in the future’ (Includes video)

Salt Lake Tribune – January 17, 2018

“Speaking as one who has been physically chained up, and as one who has also been held by chains of manipulations and threats, I will tell you … the chains of manipulation and threats are so much stronger than actual physical chains,” Smart told ABC News.

Also: Elizabeth Smart speaks out about 13 siblings held captive by their parents:


Peru: Sex Abuse Case Shadows Pope Francis’s Visit to Peru

New York Times – January 17, 2018

The scandal has nonetheless cast a pall over Pope Francis’ arrival in Peru on Thursday. Francis offered an apology to sexual abuse victims this week in Chile, but many Peruvians are asking: If the pope wants to be tough on such crimes, how could the Vatican protect one of its alleged perpetrators?

Also: Pope Francis Apologizes to the Victims of Sexual Abuse in Chile, But Many Aren’t Buying It – Here’s Why:

Sri Lanka: Committee on the Rights of the Child Reviews the Report of Sri Lanka

United Nations Office at Geneva – January 16, 2018

Introducing the report, Chandrani Senaratne, Secretary at the Ministry of Women and Child Affairs of Sri Lanka, noted that building a better future for children, who constituted approximately 30 per cent of the population, and ensuring their security was one of the key objectives of the new Government of Sri Lanka. A draft child protection and justice bill, which proposed to repeal certain parts of the Children and Young Persons Ordinance and to ensure Sri Lanka’s conformity with international standards pertaining to the best interest of the child, was in place.



CA: After 30 years, Children’s Bureau has a new leader

Daily Bulletin – January 17, 2018

“Children’s Bureau is a wonderful, nonprofit service organization, training center, and advocacy organization that has been saving children’s lives for more 100 years.” Children’s Bureau was founded in 1904. It focuses on strengthening families and communities; building peer capacity; and transforming systems and communities. Each year, more than 30,000 children and families are helped through a variety of programs including mental health counseling and foster care/adoption. Alex Morales has spent the last 30 years helping to lead the charge against child abuse and is now retiring.

CA: California torture case raises questions about home school regulation

Cable News Network – January 17, 2018

“Home schooling doesn’t give any freedom to the kids. It gives all the freedom to the parents. In the hands of good parents, the kids can benefit and thrive. But in the hands of parents like the Turpins, it can be the complete opposite.” The California Department of Education does not have the authority to monitor or inspect private schools, according to a statement from spokesman Scott Roark. California is one of 15 states requiring that parents merely register with education authorities, according to the home education coalition, which has pushed for greater oversight.

Also: No fire inspection records where 13 children held captive, officials say:

Also: Op-Ed The Turpin child abuse story fits a widespread and disturbing homeschooling pattern:

CT: What foster kids want: a place to call home

Connecticut Mirror – January 17, 2018

A survey of foster youth by Connecticut Voices for Children, a left-leaning advocacy group that hosted Tuesday’s event, shows the number of places a foster child will live during his or her time in custody varies drastically. In the last year, some children had to move four times. While the average number of places a youth had lived while in custody was three, some had lived in as many as 30 places.

FL: A study in disparity

Gainesville Sun – January 17, 2018

The study, called “Understanding Racial Inequity in Alachua County,” takes a look at economic well-being, family structure, educational achievement, health status, involvement in juvenile and adult justice systems, child welfare involvement, housing and transportation. It finds African Americans, who account for about 20 percent of Gainesville’s population, do not fare as well in any of those areas, but especially in terms of economic well-being when compared to the non-Hispanic white population, with a significantly higher chance of living in poverty.

Report: Understanding Racial Inequity in Alachua County:

FL: CALL TO ACTION: Florida Grandparents Fight For Rights

Grand Magazine – January 17, 2018

“You can be denied contact with your grandchildren because of divorce, death or simply because something is going on in the child’s household that parents don’t want grandparents to know about.” This important message is going out to every member of the Florida House. As a Florida grandparent, and there are many of us and YES we vote, we are calling on Florida House members to make contact with Florida Constitution Revision committee members prior to 1/19 to support Senator Rouson’s proposal # 64:

Information Gateway resource: Placement of Children With Relatives:

FL: Bills Proposed to Help Young Victims of Opioid Crisis (Includes audio)

WUSF – January 16, 2018

“Just today in Jacksonville there were 5 shelter hearings resulting in the removal of 8 children, all due to the parents’ substance abuse and that’s 5 cases today and it’s what we’re seeing every day in the courtroom over the last two decades that I’ve been doing this the numbers have become staggering.”

IN: Attorney general hires ex-Indiana child services director

Journal Gazette – January 17, 2018

In 2013, then-Gov. Mike Pence appointed Bonaventura as director of the Indiana Department of Child Services, which works to ensure the financial support of children and, foremost, to protect children from abuse and neglect. “I’m extremely pleased to bring aboard a leader of such caliber as Judge Bonaventura,” Hill said. “Her breadth of experience and depth of knowledge will continue to prove indispensable assets to the citizens of Indiana as she steps into this next phase of her distinguished public service.”

IN: SEI Voices Gets Grant To Help Kids

Eagle County Online – January 17, 2018

A $20,000 grant has been awarded to a local organization that accompanies and speaks for children tied up in the court and welfare system. Southeastern Indiana Voices for Children, Inc. serves Jefferson and Ripley counties. The non-profit is one of almost 1,000 CASA and Guardian ad Litem programs across the country that recruit, train and support 87,000 best-interest volunteers who help ensure that children who have entered the court and child welfare systems receive appropriate services, have a voice in determining their futures and, ultimately, find a safe, permanent home where they can thrive.

IN: WSBT 22 Fact Finder: How safe is home-schooling in Indiana?

WSBT – January 17, 2018

“All adults in the state of Indiana are mandatory reporters. I’m here today at my homeschool co-op. Any one of these mamas, if they thinks that I’m not treating my children right, she can go to this online hotline and report me,” said Alison Slatter, Indiana Association of Home Educators.

KS: KanCare overhaul plan may change, GOP lawmaker says

Wichita Eagle – January 17, 2018

Kansas is likely to change its current plan to overhaul the state’s Medicaid program, called KanCare, a high-ranking Republican lawmaker said Wednesday. KanCare 2.0 calls for multiple pilot programs designed to improve care for individuals with disabilities, children in foster care and others.

KY: Kentucky ‘adoption czar’ leaves post midway through 1st year

Associated Press – January 17, 2018

Kentucky’s “adoption czar” has left Gov. Matt Bevin’s administration seven months into his appointment, without explanation. The Courier-Journal reported Monday that a Cabinet for Health and Family Services spokesman said the state contract with Daniel Dumas had been terminated. He didn’t provide more details, and Dumas didn’t respond to the newspaper’s request for comment.

KY: UofL training doctors to spot human trafficking (Includes video)

WHAS – January 17, 2018

In the last three years, researchers from UofL’s School of Medicine have implemented a new training to recognize victims of human trafficking. The program, known as the Medical Student Instruction in Global Human Trafficking, or M-SIGHT, is also being tested at Harvard University and the University of South Florida. It utilizes online learning, medical documentation and standardized patient-based simulation to prepare students to see the signs of human trafficking.

MD: A Painful Lesson On Child Sexual Abuse

New York Jewish Week – January 17, 2018

Staff writer Hannah Dreyfus has produced a thorough and compelling report on an alleged child abuser in Baltimore whose sterling reputation as a rabbinic educator may have blinded leaders and others in the Orthodox community from fully protecting children against sexual abuse.

Report: Did Baltimore’s Jewish Community Turn a Blind Eye Toward Child Sexual Abuse?:

MI: For Detroit dad deported after 30 years in US, ‘everything has changed’ (Includes video)

Cable News Network – January 17, 2018

Garcia’s wife, Cindy, and their children — all US citizens — remain in Michigan, while Garcia lives in limbo in Mexico. “As ICE Deputy Director Thomas Homan has made clear, ICE does not exempt classes or categories of removable aliens from potential enforcement,” Walls added. “All of those in violation of the immigration laws may be subject to immigration arrest, detention and, if found removable by final order, removal from the United States.” The assertion falls in line with President Donald Trump’s vow to vastly step up deportations of people in United States without authorization.

Also: Deported man gets emotional in message to kids (Includes video):

MN: In Minnesota, Recruitment of Native American Foster Homes Stymied by ‘Lifetime Prohibitions’

Chronicle of Social Change – January 16, 2018

Shana King, a member of the Mandan, Hidatsa and Arikara Nation, spent more than three years in foster care as a teen. She lost her own children to the system during a struggle with heroin. Since then, she has gotten her children back, bought a home, and received a national award for her work as a mentor. She badly wants to be a foster parent to American Indian children in Hennepin County, Minnesota’s most populous metro area. But because of the drug history, the county says she can’t.

MO: MU’s sexual assault training leaves students with blind spots about Title IX (Includes video)

Missoulian – January 17, 2018

“These are issues we are constantly monitoring with the national conversation going on,” said Emily Love, the deputy Title IX coordinator for the UM System. Against the national backdrop, which has brought down TV personalities, comedians and politicians, the Missourian staff set out to learn what students at MU retain from that training.

MT: Child death review recommends treatment for addicted mothers

Associated Press – January 17, 2018

Montana could help prevent child deaths by offering more treatment services for pregnant women and new mothers who are battling drug and alcohol addiction, a Department of Justice review recommended.

MT: Report: 14 Montana children died last year after state received abuse reports (Includes video)

KTVQ – January 17, 2018

Fourteen children died over the last year in Montana after reports had been made to the state’s child and family service division for abuse and neglect, according to a new report from the Montana Department of Justice.


OH: More foster families are needed in Medina County

Medina Gazette – January 17, 2018

From 2014-17, Felton said, there’s been a 73 percent increase in the number of children entering foster care: 2014 – 92 children; 2015 – 113; 2016 – 138; 2017 – 159. Felton said 75 percent of the cases involve some sort of substance abuse.

OR: Nonprofit that supports foster care system launches in Linn and Benton counties

Corvallis Gazette-Times – January 17, 2018

A new nonprofit organization in Linn and Benton counties is seeking to address Oregon’s foster care crisis with respite care. Every Child connects volunteers who wish to support the foster care system with opportunities, whether baby-sitting for a foster family, helping the Department of Human Services renovate visitation rooms or donating household items to foster children aging out of the system.

RI: Analysis: Rhode Island ESSA Case Could Mean an End to Repeated School Transfers for Youth in Foster Care

The 74 – January 17, 2018

By 2017, the girl-turned-teenager had changed residences no fewer than a dozen times as she bounced through foster homes and treatment facilities. All that jostling meant repeated school changes, an experience faced by many foster youth that is known to hurt their academic prospects. That cycle was about to repeat itself again this past fall, as V. Doe was beginning her senior year of high school. But this time, she had federal law on her side.

WV: Medicaid savings to apply to other West Virginia programs

Associated Press – January 18, 2018

State budget officials say the nearly $4 billion Medicaid budget, about 73 percent federally funded, has belatedly received an increased share of federal support, freeing up state money. Crouch says the unused state money will be redirected to other areas in the department including child protective services and cost increases at state hospitals and economic development.

US: Analysis: 11 States Struggle to Meet Federal Education Requirements for Foster Youth

Chronicle of Social Change – January 17, 2018

A little more than a year after federal law mandated school districts across the country ensure foster youth are transported to school, at least 11 states are outright failing – or are clearly struggling – to make this happen.

US: When Is It Your Responsibility To Step In Against Suspected Abuse?

CBS New York – January 17, 2018

The case in which 13 malnourished siblings were reportedly kept captive in filthy conditions by their parents in California has raised a multitude of questions, like whether or not the neighbors should have gotten involved.


AR: The CALL in Boone Co. helping children affected by parental substance abuse (Includes video)

KYTV – January 14, 2018

Lora Stephens, county coordinator for The CALL, said, “Our average is between 80 and 90. I’ve not seen it drop any lower than that in well over a year. So our numbers are definitely up. And I don’t see any way they’re going to go down any time soon. And almost all of them are drug-related.”

Information Gateway resource: Parental Substance Use and the Child Welfare System:

CA: Local Forensic Health Program Warns of Child Abuse Signs to Look For (Includes video)

NBC 7 – January 16, 2018

If a child is being abused or tortured, what resources are available in San Diego County? That’s what many are asking in light of horrific findings in Perris, California, where 13 children were allegedly found abused, some shackled to their beds with chains and padlocks.–469577183.html

CA: CA Police Give Child, 11 Others, Citations For Feeding Homeless (Includes video)

La Mesa Patch – January 15, 2018

The citations were issued in El Cajon after city leaders passed an ordinance prohibiting sharing food, according to a report. A child and 11 other people were reportedly given citations after offering food to homeless people in El Cajon. NBC7 reported the 12 people are now facing misdemeanor charges.

CA: Under threat of deportation, immigrant parents helped to designate caretakers

Santa Cruz Sentinel – January 14, 2018

Growing stress and uncertainty in the immigrant community drove a group of attorneys, nonprofits and volunteers to offer free guidance to designate caretakers of children whose parents face deportation. The coalition is giving a Childcare Safety Plan, an 18-page affidavit, or legal document, to parents to allow caretakers to enroll children in school and consent to school-related medical care for the child. The plan lets caretakers enroll children in school, extracurricular activities and benefits, such as insurance, and permits travel with those children.

CA: Children’s Advocates Praise Brown’s Proposed Budget (Includes audio)

Public News Service – January 11, 2018

Gov. Jerry Brown’s new $131.7 billion budget is earning praise from children’s advocates because of the investments it makes in supporting health and combating poverty. The budget includes $26.7 million for a voluntary pilot program to send community health workers to visit struggling families. Kelly Hardy, senior managing director of health policy at Children Now, said this program will benefit low income kids and their parents. “It really helps young families reach self-sufficiency by supporting healthy development of the kids and connecting parents to services like CalFresh and employment services,” Hardy said.

CT: Report: CT Can Make Foster Care Better for Kids (Includes audio)

Public News Service – January 17, 2018

A report from Connecticut Voices for Children says the national standard for placement stability is for foster children to be moved no more than once every 243 days. According to Nicole Updegrove, co-author of the report, in Connecticut the average placement is longer. “For as long as youths are in care, they move, on average, once per year, and that’s much better than what the national standard is,” she points out. “That said, moving once per year is still pretty tough on kids.”

Report: Between People and Places: Reducing Upheaval for Children Moving Around in Connecticut Foster Care:

GA: Piedmont Newton helps mother plan for safe sleep

Covington News – January 15, 2018

“If I never had to work a child death, or infant death, related to a sleep environment again, it would be fantastic,” Newton County Coroner Tommy Davis said. Davis said sleep-related infant deaths are a national problem and through a state grant, Piedmont Newton Hospital is able to offer Mothers with Medicaid or without insurance bassinets and resources to aid in a safe sleep plan in an effort to prevent a sleep-related infant death.

IA: Prosecutor: Starry Elementary kindergarten teacher did nothing to help young girls after reported abuse

Gazette – January 08, 2018

Two kindergartners at Starry Elementary in Marion had “terrible and horrendous” incidents happen to them within the first month of school in 2016, a prosecutor said Monday as a trial over the teacher’s actions opened here. Both the young girls turned to someone who could help – their teacher, Diane Graham. But she did nothing, Assistant Linn County Attorney Andrew Powers told a Tama County jury.

KS: Bill aims to clarify abuse and neglect cases

Garden City Telegram – January 16, 2018

Kansas senators on Tuesday took up a bill aimed at clarifying and speeding up cases for abused and neglected children. The Kansas Senate Public Health and Welfare Committee discussed the bill supporters say would update outdated language vexing prosecutors and judges who handle children’s cases. The bill, backed by the Kansas Department for Children and Families did not get an immediate vote.

KS: Kansas biker group helps victims of child abuse

Associated Press – January 15, 2018

The approximately 15-member chapter works with hospitals, law enforcement and social service centers to find families in need of support. Members go through criminal background checks to reassure the families they help. They typically use road names to protect their identities so accused abusers can’t find them.

KS: Stop Gap CEO looks to add transitional group home for young adults leaving foster care

Lawrence Journal-World – January 15, 2018

Justine Burton hopes 2018 is the year she adds a transitional group home to the Stop Gap Inc. programming she provides for teens aging out of foster care.

KY: Bevin’s budget draws support for pensions, school funding but ‘sobering’ cuts unnerving (Includes video)

Louisville Courier Journal – January 16, 2018

Gov. Matt Bevin creates a new program that will allocate almost $11 million to target adoption and foster care.

MS: To fix funding mistake, Child Protection Services likely rejoins Human Services

Mississippi Today – January 17, 2018

Two years after a lawsuit forced the Legislature to turn Child Protection Services into a stand-alone agency, the director says a record-breaking deficit will compel the agency to rejoin the Department of Human Services. The move, being considered just days after Child Protection Services announced a $39 million hole in its budget for fiscal year 2018, would effectively make CPS a sub-agency of the Department of Human Services.

NH: Michael S. Lewis: With Marsy’s Law, officials seek to ride state constitution into Jurassic Park (Commentary)

Concord Monitor – January 17, 2018

The governor and attorney general stood together on Tuesday with many others to announce their support for “Marsy’s Law,” a series of substantial amendments to the New Hampshire Constitution. Indeed, a review of the language of the new proposed constitutional amendments illustrates how the adoption of new rights into our state constitution will cause our state to enter a new era of constitutional litigation whose true topography will be unknown until victims seek to enforce their rights in individual cases.

NM: Report: New Mexico Child Well-Being is Better and Worse (Includes audio)

Public News Service – January 16, 2018

he well-being of New Mexico children lags dramatically behind other states, and a new report says the only thing that will fix the problem is policy changes by state lawmakers. According to the latest report from Voices for Children, New Mexico has the highest overall childhood poverty level of any state.

Also: NM Kids Count: Data Book Shows Some Improvement, Some Decline in Child Well-being (Press release):

Also: Report: Kids Count New Mexico: At the Crossroads: or the PDF

NY: O.C. Brings Awareness to Human Trafficking

Hudson Valley Press – January 17, 2018

January is Human Trafficking Awareness Month and Orange County Executive Steven M. Neuhaus is asking residents to recognize that trafficking, which especially targets children under the age of 18, takes place throughout the state.

NY: EXCLUSIVE #MeToo founder backs fight to enact Child Victims Act

New York Daily News – January 15, 2018

The woman credited with founding the #MeToo movement is now also backing the push in New York to make it easier for child sex abuse victims to seek justice as adults.

OH: Children of the opioid crisis (Editorial)

Portsmouth Daily Times – January 14, 2018

Opioid parental addiction continues to catapult Ohio’s children into crisis. The Public Children Services Association of Ohio’s website provides media stories pertaining to how the opioid crisis is affecting these children.

PA: Mifflin County agrees to pay $100K to mother who says she was wrongly accused of child abuse

Penn Record – January 16, 2018

A mother who alleged she was falsely accused of abusing her minor child has reached a settlement with Mifflin County and other individuals. The mother alleged that her child had not been properly diagnosed as suffering from Von Willebrand disease, a condition in which skin bruises easily. The mother was accused of abusing the child.

RI: Rhode Island settles decade-long case targeting state’s Department of Children, Youth, Families

Legal Newsline – January 15, 2018

Rhode Island Attorney General Peter F. Kilmartin announced Jan. 8 that the state has settled a decade-long civil action brought forth by Children’s Rights Inc. over the quality of care at the Rhode Island Island Department of Children, Youth & Families (DCYF).

TX: The signs of abuse and neglect to look for (Includes video)

ABC 13 – January 16, 2018

On Sunday, a 17-year-old escaped from a home where she and 12 siblings had been held captive by their parents in Perris, Calif. Both parents were arrested for torture and child endangerment. At a press conference about the case, officials said one of the most important things that can be done to stop similar situations is to call and report suspected cases of abuse. Here are the signs to look for and report, especially if you spot a pattern.

Also: Information Gateway resource: What Is Child Abuse and Neglect? Recognizing the Signs and Symptoms:

VA: With opioids on the rise, so is need for foster families in the Lynchburg area

News & Advance – January 16, 2018

As the opioid epidemic persists, social services and other foster care placement organizations in the Lynchburg area are seeing a growing need for placement for children coming from homes with substance abuse.

WV: Marion County Child Advocacy Center works to bring justice, healing to victims

Times West Virginian – January 14, 2018

In 2017, the Marion County Child Advocacy Center conducted more than 120 forensic interviews with children, primarily from Marion County, who reported being abused. In 2016, the number was 186, and this year, Executive Director Michael Baker said they anticipate it will be around 180 forensic interviews conducted.

US: Opioid Crisis Blamed For Sharp Increase In Accidental Deaths In U.S.

National Public Radio – January 17, 2018

Accidental deaths in the United States rose significantly in 2016, becoming the third-leading cause of fatalities for the first time in more than a century – a trend fueled by the steep rise in opioid overdoses, the National Safety Council reports.

US: The State of America’s Children Demands Action (Commentary)

Children’s Defense Fund – January 17, 2018

It is a national disgrace that children are the poorest Americans. The Children’s Defense Fund’s new report The State of America’s Children® 2017 details the immoral, costly and preventable poverty, homelessness, hunger, health problems, poor education and violence plaguing children who are America’s responsibility and future.

Also: The State of America’s Children (Press release):

Also: The State of America’s Children (Report):

Also: State Fact Sheets and Two-Page Overview:

US: As DACA Deal Talk Heated Up, More Unaccompanied Minors Crossed the Border

Town Hall – January 16, 2018

Although overall border crossings were down in 2017, the number of unaccompanied minors illegally entering the country spiked over the past two months as talk of a DACA deal heated up in Washington.

Also: Surge of unaccompanied minors reported at the border:

US: Larry Nassar faced dozens of assault victims in Michigan court (Includes video)

CBS News – January 16, 2018

A judge is holding an extraordinary four-day sentencing hearing for a disgraced Michigan sports doctor who sexually assaulted young elite gymnasts. Larry Nassar returned to court Tuesday in Lansing. Dozens of women and girls who were victims were allowed to speak.

US: The painful problem of Black girls and suicide (Commentary)

Final Call – January 16, 2018

It is unthinkable, but happening. Little Black girls are killing themselves. The causes include disproportionate exposure to violence and traumatic stress, aggressive school discipline, and depression, according to researchers and mental health experts. Counselors and child advocates believe the disturbing trend can be reversed with love, commitment, and support services.

US: Child welfare and civil liberties: When we betray our principles, we betray our children (Pt. 1)(Commentary)

National Coalition for Child Protection Reform – January 15, 2018

Consider a far more common infringement on civil liberties, as described by The New Yorker: You will hear a knock on the door, often late at night. You don’t have to open it, but if you don’t the caseworker outside may come back with the police. The caseworker will tell you you’re being investigated for abusing or neglecting your children. She will tell you to wake them up and tell them to take clothes off so she can check their bodies for bruises and marks.

Pt. 2: Child welfare, civil liberties and the failure of the Left: The double standards apply to blacklists, too (Commentary):

US: Rochelle M. O’Gorman: Listening to, talking with a dark-skinned daughter (Commentary)

Berkshire Eagle – January 14, 2018

I used to think race didn’t matter. I don’t mean that in the big picture. Of course I understand the ramifications and implications of race on a cultural, economic and political level. I just didn’t think it mattered much to me. And then I adopted a little girl from Africa.,529439

US: Telemedicine Helps Pediatricians Better Identify Mental Illness in Children

Rutgers – January 14, 2018

To help children get the proper diagnosis and care, Rutgers University Behavioral Health Care (UBHC) and New Jersey Medical School have partnered with Essex County pediatricians to give training on behavioral health screening and assessment and provide consultation, care coordination and direct service to youths and their families.


Australia: Govt refuses to extend child abuse enquiry to churches, sports clubs

News Talk ZB – January 16, 2018

Groups of victims who have suffered abuse are calling for the Government to follow Australia’s Royal Commission into Institutional Responses to Child Sexual Abuse, which looked at children in state care as well as religious institutes and sports, recreation, arts and culture, community and hobby groups. The Australian inquiry found that most children sexually assaulted were abused in faith-based institutions.

Denmark: Over 1,000 People Face Charges For Sharing Child Sex Video On Facebook (Includes video)

600 WREC – January 16, 2018

In an unprecedented move, police in Denmark have charged 1,004 young people with redistributing child pornography after they allegedly shared videos of two 15-year-old children engaging in sex acts on Facebook Messenger. According to Bloomberg, Danish police began their investigation last year after U.S. authorities alerted them about the illicit videos.

Ethiopia: Ethiopia Adoption Ban May Curb Trafficking, But Poorest Families Need Support

Voice of America – January 15, 2018

Child rights groups cite cases of “child harvesting” where adoption agencies unethically recruit minors for adoption by fraudulently altering paperwork to cast children with families as orphans whose parents had died or abandoned them.

Ireland: Taoiseach urged to take action over child homelessness

RTE News – January 16, 2018

Campaign spokeswoman Gillian Hamill said the group wants real action to be taken on the homeless crisis in 2018. Ms Hamill said that 3,300 children without a home is not acceptable and action is needed now.

Nigeria: NAPTIP Records 100 Cases of Child Abuse,Trafficking in Sokoto

This Day – January 15, 2018

The National Agency for the Prohibition of Trafficking in Persons and other Related Matters (NAPTiP), Sokoto Zonal Office has said that it recorded 100 cases of child abuse and human trafficking in 2017. Zonal Commander of the Agency, Mr. Tahir Hassan explained that the cases included trafficking, child labour and abuse, child prostitution and illegal migration as well as procurement of minors.

Norway: Young people with shared residency have fewer mental problems

Medical Xpress – January 16, 2018

Young people with shared residency after their parents’ divorce have fewer mental problems than young people with other residency arrangements. This was the conclusion researchers at RKBU Vest (Regional Centre for Child and Youth Mental Health and Child Welfare), Uni Research Health, arrived at when they compared the mental health of young people in different residency arrangements after a divorce.

Pakistan: Pakistan celebrities break taboo to reveal child sexual abuse

Guardian – January 15, 2018

Three Pakistani celebrities have become the first women in the conservative nation’s history to publicly reveal that they were sexually abused as children, amid a national furore over the rape and murder of a seven-year-old girl.

Also: Church demands action in Pakistan child abuse case (Includes video):

Also: Child abuse & social complicity (Commentary):

Pakistan: Zainab Ansari and Pakistan’s Stolen Children (Commentary)

Alt Muslim – January 15, 2018

Cutting to the chase, the most terrifying aspect of these events is this: that they could happen. What level of apathy must be reached for a hundred children to be killed in a city without a blip in the public radar? After all this posturing and self-gratifying humbug is over and the dust has settled, nothing has been done to protect Pakistan’s children.



AR: The FY 2019 budget proposal

Booneville Democrat – January 12, 2018

The budget includes funding for 65 new child welfare caseworkers, and $3 million for the Arkansas State Police vehicles.

CA: California needs to ensure that money aimed at low-income students actually gets to them (Commentary)

Los Angeles Times – January 13, 2018

Brown’s clever idea was that in a year when everyone was getting a bump, it would be easier to give still more to schools with heavier proportions of low-income students or students in foster care or still struggling to learn English. This replaced a system that had funded schools at different levels based on – well, there were very few in the state who understood the complex formulas.

CA: Young, gay and living on the streets

EdSource – January 13, 2018

“My experience with shelters is that you’d go when it was raining. You’d go to San Francisco, wait in line and sleep on the floor, if you slept at all,” the serious, soft-spoken Oakland woman, who’s now 22, said. “It’s scary enough to be a young person there. But if you’re queer you just feel a lot more vulnerable. You definitely avoid them.”

CO: Here’s a first look at the Denver school district’s budget plan

Denverite – January 12, 2018

Denver district officials are proposing to cut as many as 50 central office jobs next year while increasing the funding schools get to educate the poorest students, as part of their effort to send more of the district’s billion-dollar budget directly to schools. The proposed additions include: $1.5 million to provide schools with between $80 and $180 extra per student to educate the district’s highest-needs students, including those who are homeless or living in foster care.

Information Gateway resource: Child Welfare-Education System Collaborations to Increase Educational Stability:

CT: Yes, A System Should be Judged by One Case (Commentary)

Child Welfare Monitor – January 16, 2018

After Matthew’s death, the Hartford Courant reported that Commissioner Katz shockingly told legislators that “As horrible as this may sound, there comes a point where you have to make a determination that you have done all that you can legally do. There are 15,000 cases and only so many social workers.” The Commissioner also said that a system should not be judged based on one case. It’s an old refrain. But is it true?

GA: Rossi: Public health epidemic that we can prevent: Child sexual abuse

Covington News – January 15, 2018

Child sexual abuse is first and foremost, a health problem – not just an issue for social service departments, child abuse organizations or law enforcement agencies. The overwhelming impact of child sexual abuse on health makes it just as critical to the healthcare industry as lifestyle factors, such as smoking or obesity.

IN: 2-month-old dies of malnutrition hours after DCS, other welfare workers visited her home

Indianapolis Star – January 12, 2018

A 2-month-old girl died of malnutrition hours after four child welfare workers visited her Indianapolis home. At least one of those workers expressed concern about the baby’s well-being during the Aug. 21 visit, but did not report it to authorities. A state ombudsman has chastised the Department of Child Services for failing to properly handle the case.

KY: Editorial: Foster care system struggling to protect kids

Morehead News – January 15, 2018

The opioid epidemic has driven the foster care population to more than 8,500 statewide, the most ever and an increase of 25 percent since 2011. Children are being taken from addicted parents at a higher rate than past years and many extended families are hard pressed to take those kids into their homes.

MI: For the first time, the Michigan Auditor General sues administration to access records

Lansing State Journal – January 12, 2018

The Michigan Auditor General on Wednesday sued the Michigan Department of Health & Human Services in the state Court of Claims, asking a judge to order Michigan’s child welfare agency to hand over adoption records that auditors say they need to investigate whether Gov. Rick Snyder’s administration is following rules in its handling of kids removed from their parents because of abuse or neglect.

MO: Lawsuit Over Psychotropics and Foster Youth Will Move Forward

Chronicle of Social Change – January 12, 2018

U.S. District Judge Nanette Laughrey ruled this week that a class-action lawsuit over Missouri’s use of psychotropic medications for youth in foster care can continue. The decision moves forward a case that could potentially set some precedent on an issue that heated up in the earlier half of the decade and has taken a back burner lately: the mental health rights and treatment of vulnerable children.

Also: Lawsuit over drugs for Missouri’s foster kids proceeds:

MT: Montana launches new effort to reduce child abuse, deaths

Seymour Tribune – January 12, 2018

Sheila Hogan, director of the Department of Public Health and Human Services, is expanding a home visiting program for expectant mothers and young families with “home visitors” who will work exclusively with families involved in the child protection system.

Also: New plan aims to prevent deaths of children in child protection system:

NJ: As Christie administration leaves, progress on child welfare reform stalls (Includes video)

New Jersey Online – January 12, 2018

From Jan. 1 to June 30, 2017, the Department of Children and Families did not achieve any new goals, and lost ground on a few measures showing it can work with families to reunite them with the 6,600 children in foster care or find them new homes, the report said.


NM: BCSO looks for possible victims of sexual assault at foster facility

KRQE – January 12, 2018

Bernalillo County Sheriff’s Deputies are looking for possible victims after a man was arrested for raping a teen in foster care.

NY: New law provides children in foster care the right to visit their siblings

Livingston County News – January 16, 2018

“This action will allow some of our most vulnerable New Yorkers to preserve family bonds that otherwise would be severed due to no fault of their own,” Cuomo said in a statement. “I’m proud to sign this compassionate legislation, which will bring us closer to a stronger and more humane New York for all.”

NY: St. Lawrence County joins class action lawsuit against pharmaceutical companies

Watertown Daily Time – January 14, 2018

According to the lawsuit, each year St. Lawrence County spends millions of dollars for the health care, pharmaceutical care and other necessary services and programs for “indigents” and otherwise eligible residents, including payments for prescription opioid painkillers which are manufactured, marketed, promoted, sold, and/or distributed by the named defendants.

OH: Opioid Makers Meet With DeWine as Judge Presses for Meaningful Response to the Opioid Crisis (Includes audio)

WKSU – January 12, 2018

Ohio’s attorney general has met with two of the five opioid manufacturers the state is suing to try to come up with a settlement. Many of the lawsuits have been consolidated in the Cleveland courtroom of federal Judge Dan Polster. This week, he told lawyers he wants to “do something meaningful to abate this crisis” and to do this year. He’s set a Jan. 31 meeting for the 13 states.

Also: Opioid epidemic: Cuyahoga County again sees record number of overdose deaths:

OK: Wayne Greene: Oklahoma is still in the child shelter business, although it promised it wouldn’t be three years ago (Commentary)

Tulsa World – January 14, 2018

Once a bustling center for children of all sorts in transition, Dester is now largely empty, except for a few dozen children whose physical and intellectual challenges make them hard to place in foster homes. The Department of Human Services agreed three years ago to close Dester and a similar facility in Oklahoma City. The plan was part of a negotiated settlement to avoid federal litigation challenging the state’s child welfare system.

OK: DHS making ‘discernible progress’ say monitors overseeing foster care reform efforts

Guthrie News Leader – January 12, 2018

The Oklahoma Department of Human Services (DHS) has made “discernible progress” in its efforts to reform the state’s foster care system according to the child welfare experts, referred to as Co-Neutrals, monitoring the agency’s efforts to implement the Pinnacle Plan. The latest commentary from the Co-Neutrals covering DHS’ performance through June 30, 2017, shows the agency is making good faith efforts to achieve substantial and sustained progress in almost every area of the system they are working to improve.

Also: Monitors Note “Discernible Progress” on Pinnacle Plan:

OR: Central Oregon sees shortage of foster homes (Includes video)

KTVZ – January 12, 2018

It’s a nationwide problem that’s uprooting kids in Central Oregon from their schools, friends and communities. A shortage of foster parents is hitting rural areas hard.

PA: A Child Abuse Prediction Model Fails Poor Families (Commentary)

Wired – January 15, 2018

Three-quarters of child welfare investigations involve neglect rather than physical, sexual, or emotional abuse. Where the line is drawn between the routine conditions of poverty and child neglect is particularly vexing. Many struggles common among poor families are officially defined as child maltreatment, including not having enough food, having inadequate or unsafe housing, lacking medical care, or leaving a child alone while you work.

RI: East Providence officials criticize DCYF after girls found in ‘deplorable’ home

Providence Journal – January 12, 2018

City officials assailed the Department of Children, Youth and Families after discovering two teenage girls living in horrendous conditions in a Floyd Avenue house that a caseworker had visited the day before.

TN: Juvenile Justice Task Force Makes Recommendations

Greeneville Sun – January 16, 2018

Tennessee’s juvenile justice system needs fixing. In response, Gov. Bill Haslam convened a multi-discipline task force last year to study cracks in the system and make recommendations on how to make it better.

TX: New TX law affects parents struggling with addiction (Includes video)

RNN Texoma – January 12, 2018

A new Texas child protective law, House Bill 85, is stricter on parents relapsing from substance abuse. More than half of cases that Court Appointed Special Advocates of Red River workers said they deal with are drug-related. There are around 350 children in the system right CASA of River covers.

VA: McAuliffe announces new housing support for Virginians moving from foster care to adulthood

Augusta Free Press – January 12, 2018

Governor Terry McAuliffe today announced the establishment of a new $1.8 million housing support pilot program that will provide additional assistance to Fostering Futures participants in Richmond and Charlottesville/Albemarle County.

Also: Local area tapped for foster care transition pilot program:

Pilot program to help foster kids ‘aging out’ transition to adulthood:

WA: Often less visible, Yakima area’s homeless youth and young adult population exploding

Yakima Herald Republic – January 14, 2018

Yakima’s overall homeless problem is long-standing and quite obvious, but less visible is a rapidly growing population of homeless youths and young adults, such as Butler, with few services to help them. For example, there’s no permanent overnight shelter in Yakima for minors, and placing young adults at facilities with older people could leave them vulnerable to sex trafficking, sexual exploitation and other problems, service providers say.

WA: Walla Walla taking new approach in child abuse cases

Walla Walla Union-Bulletin – January 13, 2018

Martin is a social worker with the Walla Walla office of Child Protective Services. While her office is under the umbrella of Washington state’s Division of Children and Family Services, she works in the Walla Walla Police Department’s headquarters right next to a child-friendly forensic interview room.

WA: State Lawmakers hear a proposal to outlaw sexual orientation conversion therapy

WNPA Olympia News Bureau – January 12, 2018

Lawmakers re-heard a bill on Thursday, Jan. 11 that would ban the practice of conversion therapy on any patient under 18 years old. The bill, introduced last year, would make a practice that tries to change a person’s sexual orientation or gender identity considered unprofessional conduct for any state licensed health care provider.

US: Michigan Judge Dismisses Sexual Assault Charges in Landmark Female Genital Mutilation Case

Christian Broadcasting Network – January 15, 2018

In early 2017, Dr. Nagarwala, an Indian-American physician in Detroit, Michigan, became the first person charged under the United States law criminalizing female genital mutilation.

Also: FBI Launches New Fight to Uncover Secretive Female Genital Mutilation in US:

US: Rutgers grad can tell a child was abused – by looking at his teeth

New Jersey 101.5 – January 15, 2018

Dobrin said dentistry is a good modality for recognizing abuse because 75 percent of injuries to children occur in the region of the head, mouth and neck. “These are some of the factors that may be just the tip of the iceberg as to what’s happening to the child,” he said. “Unfortunately, every day, four to seven children are dying from child abuse and neglect, just in this country alone.”

US: Disregarding the Best Interest of the Child: License to Discriminate In Child Welfare Services

Human Rights Campaign Foundation – January 12, 2018

“Seven states, including five states in the last three years, have passed laws allowing taxpayer-funded child welfare programs (adoption and foster care services) to pick and choose to whom they provide the services the government has paid them to provide. All of these laws allow agencies to refuse to work with LGBTQ people, and some also allow them to refuse various medical treatments to LGBTQ children in their care.

Full report:

US: Parents of Mito Children Often Face False Medical Abuse Charges, Patient Advocates Claim (Includes audio)

Medical Health News – January 12, 2018

When her parents tried to get Justina transferred to Tufts, Boston Children’s called the authorities, claiming they were harmfully interfering in her care. A juvenile court judge agreed, and Justina’s parents lost custody. After more than 16 months in state custody, much of it in a locked psychiatric ward, the traumatized teen was returned to her family – still in a wheelchair, and still sick from her disease.

US: Report: RAND Predicts Greater Investment in Prevention and Kinship Care Would Make Child Welfare Better – and Save Money

Chronicle of Social Change – January 12, 2018

To generate the data shared in the report, RAND developed a data model meant to simulate a child’s pathway through the child welfare system. Using the existing child welfare system as a baseline, the model is designed to predict outcome changes that could result from a variety of policy reforms.

Report: Improving Child Welfare Outcomes:

US: The State of America’s Children Demands Your Action Right Now! (Commentary)

Huffington Post – January 12, 2018

It is a national disgrace that children are the poorest Americans. The Children’s Defense Fund’s new report The State of America’s Children® 2017 details the immoral, costly and preventable poverty, homelessness, hunger, health problems, poor education and violence plaguing children who are America’s responsibility and future.

US: We Have Set Up System to Sex Traffic American Children (Opinion) (Includes video)

Newsweek – January 12, 2018

Senator Rob Portman (R-Ohio) introduced legislation in 2017 to amend an antiquated 1996 law that was ostensibly enacted to protect freedom of expression on the Internet, but, as Sen. Portman’s bill describes, allowed website operators (most prominently, Backpage ) to facilitate the sale of sex with victims of sex trafficking. In many of these cases, the victims are children.

US: Most dads say they spend too little time with their children; about a quarter live apart from them

Pew Research Center – January 08, 2018

U.S. fathers today are spending more time caring for their children than they did a half-century ago. Still, most (63%) say they spend too little time with their kids and a much smaller share (36%) say they spend the right amount of time with them, according to a Pew Research Center survey conducted in August and September 2017.


Haiti: Abandoned and separated – the perilous plight of Haiti’s children

Watertown Daily Time – January 13, 2018

Child protection specialists throw out one question after another, while offering street descriptions and city names in their quest for clues, as the soft-spoken boy sits quietly at a play table.—the-perilous-plight-of-haitis-children-20180113


AL: Alabama Secretary of State John H. Merrill announces 3rd Annual International Adoption Day (Press release)

Office of the Alabama Secretary of State John H. Merrill – January 11, 2018

Alabama Secretary of State John H. Merrill and his team will host the fourth annual International Adoption Day on Monday, January 29, 2018 at 2:00 p.m. in the State Capitol’s Old House Chamber. Alabama families who have gone through the process of adopting children from other countries in 2017 will be recognized for their philanthropy and love.

CA: Gov. Brown’s Final Budget: Increased Spending on Foster Youth Education, New Home Visiting and Juvenile Justice Programs

Chronicle of Social Change – January 11, 2018

Even as the state faces a potential recession and changes to the federal tax code, California Gov. Jerry Brown (D) made significant investments in the state’s child welfare and juvenile justice systems in the first version of the state’s 2018-2019 budget. The $132 billion spending proposal includes notable investments in education for foster youth in the state; a new home visiting program for moms receiving welfare; and a bid to divert some young adults from prisons into juvenile facilities.

CA: LA’s new Family Justice Center to be ‘a place of refuge,’ for those fleeing domestic violence, abuse

Los Angeles Daily News – January 11, 2018

In one of the busiest hospitals in the nation, a refuge now resides. Officials declared that the Family Justice Center, inside the LAC+USC Medical Center in Boyle Heights, will be a place where Los Angeles County residents can escape domestic violence, finding all the pieces to put their lives back together. The new center formally opened Thursday, hailed as a one-stop shop where medical, mental-health, legal and social-service components all come together for victims, officials said.

FL: One Church One Child pushes for awareness of resources

Capitol Outlook – January 11, 2018

Funding sometimes is one of the main issues that create a challenge in placing many siblings who are among the state’s estimated 14,000 foster children together. Watkins, who praised the church-based initiative One Church One Child, also mentioned the issue of adoption after a child ages out of the foster care system. Many move on from foster homes, if they desire, to the Independent Living Services program (through Children and Families), he said. They could stay in that program until they are 23.

IN: Why Indiana’s child protection system is failing (it’s not for lack of money) (Commentary)

Indianapolis Star: – January 11, 2018

Mary Beth Bonaventura’s letter of resignation as director of the Indiana Department of Child Services had all the subtlety of a ransom note. The message boiled down to: “Give DCS more money or children will die!”

Also: Don’t just govern, do something (Commentary):

Also: Indiana Department of Child Services claims merit investigation:

Also: Indiana child welfare system sparks debate:

Information Gateway resource: Reasonable Efforts to Preserve or Reunify Families and Achieve Permanency for Children:

KS: When Lawmakers Slash Assistance for Families, Foster Care Cases Increase

Rewire – January 11, 2018

“If we could take even just a fraction of the money that we spend on foster care and give it to families where kids are being removed and put into foster care, we could prevent much of the need for foster care.”

MN: Sherburne presents agenda to area legislators

Star News – January 11, 2018

Cobb also addressed issues related to adequate funding for child protection, funding and infrastructure to serve people with a mental illness and day care and foster care homes authority and funding.

OH: New report shows 1,000 more Ohio kids are in foster care in 2017 because of opioid crisis

KITV – January 11, 2018

One thousand more Ohio children will be spending their holidays in foster care this year compared to 2016 as the opioid crisis continues to take an unprecedented toll on families, according to a report released Thursday.

Special report: Foster care numbers, costs rise sharply:

OK: Oklahoma receives ‘A’ grade for combating child sex trafficking (Includes video)

NonDoc – January 11, 2018

Since 2011, the international human rights group Shared Hope International has provided an annual report card of child sex trafficking laws in states through its Protected Innocence Challenge. The challenge rates states on 41 legislative components related to the sexual trafficking of minors. Overall, Oklahoma scored a 90 out of a possible 102.5 points, which places the Sooner State directly at the threshold between the top-eight-ranked states in the nation and the 27 states receiving Bs in 2017. In categories 1 and 3 above, Oklahoma received perfect scores.

Shared Hope Report: 2017 State Report Cards – Protected Innocence Challenge:

RI: R.I. to launch fast-track training for foster families

Providence Journal – January 11, 2018

Highlighting an urgent need for more foster families, Gov. Gina Raimondo on Thursday announced plans for what she described as a first-of-its-kind foster family training retreat in March aimed at speeding up the foster family licensing process.

Also: Raimondo Announces Investment and Initiatives in Support of Foster Families (Press release):

TN: Opioid crisis has impact on foster care (Commentary)

Daily Post-Athenian – January 11, 2018

Like most states, Tennessee is in urgent need of volunteers willing to become a foster parent or serve as a mentor to a child in foster care. This need has grown dramatically in recent years as a result of the opioid crisis, which has forced children from their homes and addicted parents into foster care.

VT: Report: More families impacted by opiate abuse, lack of child care

VT Digger – January 11, 2018

There is good and bad news for the state’s youngest citizens. Most Vermont children have health insurance, there are more children enrolling in pre-Kindergarten classes and there are more high quality child care programs available. The bad news? Families with infants and toddlers still struggle to find and afford quality child care and the opiate crisis is straining the child welfare system, according to Building Bright Futures, a group that monitors early childhood issues.

Report: How are Vermont’s Young Children and Families? 2017:

WI: Opioid, methamphetamine addiction strains CPS resources

Hudson Star-Observer – January 12, 2018

Soaring numbers of Children’s Services cases reflect a statewide struggle that a legislative task force said is nearing a crisis level in counties across Wisconsin.

WI: Rep. Loudenbeck Applauds Wisconsin’s work to combat human trafficking (Press release)

Office of State Representative Amy Loudenbeck – January 11, 2018

“Wisconsin citizens can be proud of the work being done in our state to effectively respond to the crime of human trafficking. It is important to recognize that significant progress has been made, while acknowledging that work remains,” said Rep. Loudenbeck.”

US: Alliance for Strong Families and Communities Names Two New Officers to its Board of Directors (Press release)

PR Web – January 12, 2018

Molly Greenman, president/CEO of The Family Partnership in Minneapolis, has been named chair of the national Alliance for Strong Families and Communities Board of Directors, and Annette Rodriguez, president and CEO of The Children’s Shelter in San Antonio, is now the vice chair. In these roles, effective Jan. 1, Greenman and Rodriguez will provide visionary leadership to the Alliance, a national strategic action network of committed social sector leaders driving to achieve a healthy and equitable society.

US: Cherokee Can’t Sue Opioid Distributors in Tribal Court, Judge Rules

New York Times – January 11, 2018

The Cherokee Nation cannot sue opioid distributors and pharmacies in its own tribal court, a federal judge in Oklahoma said late Tuesday, halting the first attempt by a Native American tribe to recover damages for the widespread harm inflicted by prescription drugs.

US: Victim’s attorney rebutts USA Gymnastics statement

WILX – January 11, 2018

“USA Gymnastics statement regarding the horrendous molestation suffered by world champion gymnast Maggie Nichols and her fellow athletes must be exposed for what it is, cynical, false and misleading. I am truly shocked by the admission by USA Gymnastics that they failed to follow the law and immediately report to Child Protective Services, or to law enforcement, two credible allegations of sexual abuse – one by Maggie Nichols and a second which has been attributed to Ali Raisman. The law in Indiana where USAG is headquartered, and nearly every other State, requires a mandatory reporter such as USAG to report any reason to believe that a child is a victim of sexual abuse to authorities.”

Also: USA Gymnastics Denies Abuse Cover-Up, Nichols’ Attorney Pushes Back — USA Gymnastics responded on Tuesday, vehemently denying that it tried to silence athletes (Includes video):

Also: Another athlete accuses USA Gymnastics of covering up sexual abuse:

Also: Aly Raisman Blasts USA Gymnastics for ‘Victim Shaming’ Larry Nassar Accusers:

US: U.S. child mortality rate is worse than those of other rich, developed countries

Luxora Leader – January 10, 2018

There’s one area where there’s been huge growth in the U.S. – the gap between the rich and poor. And perhaps one of the greatest impacts of this is felt in childhood. A team of researchers examined mortality for the U.S. and other wealthy nations in the Organization for Economic Cooperation and Development for children from birth to age 19 from 1961 to 2010. From 2001 to 2010 the risk of death in the U.S. was 76% greater for infants and 57% greater for children ages 1 to 19, according to the study, published in Health Affairs journal.

Article: Child Mortality In The US And 19 OECD Comparator Nations: A 50-Year Time-Trend Analysis:

US: Immigrant families caught at the border increased 68 percent in December compared to October

San Antonio Express-News – January 09, 2018

Immigrants caught illegally crossing the Southwest border in December climbed for an eighth consecutive month, reaching the highest point since President Donald Trump took office a year ago, according to U.S. Customs and Border Protection data.

Also: On Trump’s Watch, Another Surge of Unaccompanied Minors at The Border:

Also: Trump admin grapples with rise in border crossing numbers it once touted (Includes video):


United Kingdom: Children’s services referrals approach 650,000 in 2017 – the equivalent of one every 49 seconds

ITV – January 12, 2018

Social workers are trying to investigate concerns and keep children safe, but councils need more money to cope with demand, the LGA said. Local children’s services will face a 2 billion pound funding gap by 2020, it warned, urging the Government to use a forthcoming funding settlement for local authorities to plug the hole.


AL: More children in foster care system due to drug abuse (Includes video)

WBRC – January 11, 2018

When opioid addiction hits mothers and fathers, the most vulnerable victims of the epidemic are often children. “It went from crack to meth and now we’re seeing heroin,” said Michelle Bearman-Wolbek, Executive Director of the Heart Gallery, a nonprofit organization that helps place children in foster care with permanent loving parents.

CA: County to improve services for LGBTQ foster youth

Antelope Valley Times – January 10, 2018

Nearly 20 percent of foster youth in Los Angeles County identify as LGBTQ, a statistic that prompted the Board of Supervisors Tuesday to look for ways to improve services for LGBTQ youth in the county’s care.

Also: Los Angeles Orders Agencies to Report on LGBTQ Services for Youth in Foster Care:

Information Gateway resource: Frequently Asked Questions From Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual, Transgender, and Questioning (LGBTQ) Prospective Foster and Adoptive Parents:

CA: San Diego County, nonprofit partner on anti-sex trafficking campaign (Includes video)

KFMB – January 10, 2018

A new awareness campaign that shines light on methods sex traffickers use to recruit victims launched this week in San Diego County.

FL: Opioid epidemic could be stressing foster-care system, study says (Includes video)

Orlando Sentinel – January 10, 2018

A new study shows that the increase in opioid prescription rates in Florida may have had a role in the higher rate of kids being removed from their homes, putting more stress on the state’s foster care system and highlighting the shortage of foster parents.

Report: Opioid Prescription Rates And Child Removals: Evidence From Florida:

Also: Study: Opioid Epidemic Forcing More Kids into Foster Care:

GA: Religious language dropped from Georgia adoption bill

Atlanta Journal-Constitution – January 10, 2018

A bill to make adoptions in Georgia faster and easier passed a state Senate committee Wednesday, without controversial “religious liberty” provisions that stalled the legislation last year. But senators changed the adoption legislation, House Bill 159, in other ways that could hurt its chances of becoming law.–regional-govt–politics/religious-language-dropped-from-georgia-bill-making-adoptions-easier/dCvaHZR5ICt4tkFWLRQLuO/

HI: Family of ‘Peter Boy’ sues state, claiming negligence played a role in his death

Hawaii News Now – January 10, 2018

The family of “Peter Boy” Kema, the 6-year-old who died at the hands of his abusive parents in 1997 but whose killing would remain unconfirmed for 20 years, has sued the state, saying Child Protective Services workers and the system didn’t do enough to protect him.

IA: There’s a special clinic that could hold the key to helping Iowa’s troubled foster kids (Includes video)

Des Moines Register – January 10, 2018

Walk around this third-floor clinic at Blank Children’s Hospital and you can’t help but think: What if? What if the social workers or police who first connected with Natalie Finn or Sabrina Ray or Malayia Knapp and their siblings in foster care insisted they come here: A clinic designed to treat the special medical and mental health needs of children in Iowa’s child-welfare system?

IL: At what age can children be left alone? (Commentary)

Herald-Whig – January 10, 2018

The American Red Cross, in every state, offers a babysitting course for children 11 and older. That suggests to me that if they can be trained as young as 11 and certified, society is deeming 11 an acceptable age to not only be left alone but to be able to care for another child, obviously for a “reasonable period of time.”

IN: Chief justice: Opioid crisis flooding Indiana courts

Tribune Star – January 11, 2018

The state’s opioid epidemic has changed the nature of Indiana’s legal system, Chief Justice Loretta Rush said Thursday in her State of the Judiciary speech. “Addiction has swept into every community and is flooding every court – and not just in Indiana but across our country,” Rush told a joint session of the Indiana House and Senate.

IN: New health department director embraces respect, curiosity

Pantagraph – January 10, 2018

Camille Rodriguez said she learned respect as a child, and her respect and curiosity served her well as a child protection investigator and in a variety of health and human services roles over more than 20 years in Illinois and Wisconsin. Rodriguez has brought her approach to McLean County, where she began Jan. 3 as director of the McLean County Health Department. Rodriguez, 47, who was selected by the county Board of Health on Dec. 13, is relocating from Machesney Park.

KS: Kansas Lawmakers Troubled By Brownback Budget Math

KCUR – January 10, 2018

Fellow Republicans on Wednesday characterized Gov. Sam Brownback’s spending plan – more than $6.6 billion a year – as a beeline return to deficits and an abdication of responsibility in a budding crisis. It included: -Adding $2 million for combating crimes against children and new staff at the Attorney General’s Office and Kansas Bureau of Investigation. -Using $16 million to hire more child welfare staff and tackle a laundry-list of problems with the state’s foster care system, including a skyrocketing caseload and children going missing.

MN: Former Cook County social services official admits child abuse

Grand Forks Herald – January 10, 2018

The man who formerly oversaw social services in Cook County has pleaded guilty to two misdemeanor charges stemming from an alleged pattern of child abuse. Joshua David Beck, 40, pleaded guilty to two misdemeanor charges last month in State District Court in Two Harbors, according to court records. He had been set to go to trial later this month.

MO: Sheena Chestnut, Eric Greitens’ Wife: 5 Fast Facts You Need to Know

Heavy – January 11, 2018

  1. As First Lady of Missouri, She Focuses on Foster Care & Adoption Initiatives.

MO: Greitens calls for more tax cuts in State of the State address

Columbia Daily Tribune – January 10, 2018

In his speech, Greitens focused heavily on support for the 13,000 foster children in Missouri. Last year, he said, lawmakers made it easier for foster children to obtain a copy of their birth certificate and passed a “Foster Care Bill of Rights.”

MO: Lawsuit alleging Missouri’s foster kids drug prescriptions are unconstitutional proceeds (Includes video)

Springfield News-Leader – January 10, 2018

Claims that Missouri has historically and unconstitutionally failed foster children by prescribing psychotropic drugs are surviving challenges in federal court. In a St. Louis University School of Law news release, a group of plaintiffs behind a federal class-action lawsuit on behalf of “all minor children who are or will be in Missouri foster care” are hailing a federal court judge’s decision to preserve some of their claims, while dismissing others.

MS: Lawmakers ‘blown away’ by $40 million Child Protection Services budget shortfall

Mississippi Today – January 10, 2018

Mississippi’s Child Protection Services is short nearly $40 million, an unprecedented amount that could have severe repercussions for how the state manages the fledgling agency.

Also: Medicaid deficit lower than expected; Child Services announces large shortfall (Includes video):

NE: Ricketts calls for task force to address meth, broken homes

North Platte Bulletin – January 10, 2018

Gov. Pete Ricketts will create a new task force to get to the root causes of methamphetamine abuse and broken homes, he said Wednesday in a sweeping address to the state Legislature.

Also: In State of the State address, Ricketts unveils package of budget, tax plans aimed at setting up Nebraska for future growth:

OK: Oklahoma foster care progress encouraging

Oklahoman – January 11, 2018

The range of concerns regarding foster care in Oklahoma is considerable. The state has too many kids who need state services, which in turn weighs down case workers. Finding suitable foster families is an ongoing challenge; so too is finding and retaining workers willing to endure the heartache that so many of these child welfare cases present. The list goes on.

RI: Settlement paves way for DCYF improvements

Cranston Herald – January 10, 2018

Attorney General Peter F. Kilmartin recently announced a settlement agreement between the State of Rhode Island and Children’s Rights, Inc., resolving a decade-long civil action that alleged deficiencies at the Rhode Island Department of Children, Youth & Families (DCYF). This case was negotiated and settled with the goal of making the child welfare system better for the children in the care of DCYF and their families.,130845

TN: Report: Tennessee lax in policing educator sexual misconduct with students

Chattanooga Times Free Press – January 11, 2018

Tennessee lacks clear procedures and policies regarding educator sexual misconduct with students, according to a report released Wednesday.

Report: Educator Sexual Misconduct Involving Students in Tennessee Schools:

TX: Study: Texas Kids Face Major Social, Economic Challenges (Includes audio)

Public News Service – January 11, 2018

The report by the Children’s Defense Fund found that in Texas, children face major challenges: 1-in-5 live in poverty, 110,000 are homeless, a majority can’t read at grade level, and almost 1 million are either without health insurance or face losing coverage.


VT: Building Bright Futures releases latest Vt. child welfare data

My NBC 5 – January 10, 2018

Building Bright Futures, a Vermont group that tracks trends in early child care and education, released its new report Thursday. The news was mixed. Many families still can’t afford the cost of child care, the group said, despite a $2 million increase approved by lawmakers last year for the state’s $47M child care assistance fund. And the number of youngsters in state DCF custody doubled between 2012-2015, largely because of Vermont’s opioid epidemic, officials said.

Also: 2017 Report: How are Vermont’s Young Children and Families?

WA: Washington State’s New Child Welfare Boss Talks Prevention, Retention and Federal Funding

Chronicle of Social Change – January 10, 2018

The new Department of Children, Youth, and Families (DCYF) will include three agencies – the Department of Early Learning, the Children’s Administration and Juvenile Rehabilitation – with the goal of changing how the state serves at-risk children and youth.

US: Report: Brain Science Shows How to Help Teens in Foster Care (Includes audio)

Public News Service – January 11, 2018

A new report says teenagers in foster care need as much normalcy and stability as possible – because their brains are still developing into their twenties.

US: Studying the Head Start Advantage

Huffington Post – January 11, 2018

As we roar into 2017, the Head Start community is fueled by tremendous, bi-partisan support. A host of new studies continue to bolster the case for Head Start’s comprehensive approach to early childhood interventions that target very young disadvantaged children and their families. And Head Start teachers, administrators and partners are embracing the continued pursuit of excellence and opportunities to magnify impact and maximize outcomes.

Also: Head Start Facts and Impacts:

Also: Report: State(s) of Head Start:

US: Homeschooling: Requirements, Research, and Who Does It

Education Week – January 10, 2018

The U.S. Department of Education estimates that about 3.3 percent of the country’s school-aged children are homeschooled. That’s nearly 2 million students. That said, home schoolers are a notoriously difficult group to count and study. States define and track home-school enrollment differently, if at all. And researchers say survey data are difficult to collect on home schoolers because, as a group, they tend to be more wary of oversight and government infringement.

US: Feds Close ‘Evidence Based’ National Registry for Mental Health Programs (Requires free registration)

Education Week – January 08, 2018

The Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration has put a halt on the National Registry of Evidence-Based Programs and Practices. The center, which had been recently redesigned, reviews interventions intended to reduce mental illness and drug and alcohol abuse. It includes a database of some 500 programs judged to be scientifically valid and effective, including in several areas of concern to schools, like teen suicide prevention and the use of arts programs for social-emotional learning. (Updated: The Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration plans to move the responsibilities for the registry to its policy lab; no word yet on what changes that will mean.)


Ethiopia: Ethiopian Lawmakers Vote To Ban Foreign Adoptions

National Public Radio – January 10, 2018

The Ethiopian Parliament voted Tuesday to ban all foreign adoptions, months after suspending them, amid fears children will suffer abuse and neglect overseas.

Also: Ethiopia will no longer allow foreigners to adopt its children:

Also: Ethiopia bans foreign adoptions:

India: India suspends Holt International for ‘negligence’ in Sherin Mathews adoption (Includes video)

WFAA – January 10, 2018

India has suspended an American adoption agency for what the government says was “negligent” behavior in the assessment of adoptive parents. Women and Child Development Minister Maneka Gandhi and CEO of The Central Adoption Resource Authority (CARA) Deepak Kumar made the formal decision to suspend Holt International, the adoption agency used by Sherin Mathews’ adoptive parents Sini and Wesley Mathews.

Also: U.S. Adoption Agency Banned from India Following Death of Toddler Sherin:


AR: Hutchinson lays out $5.63B state budget … Spending up $173M, mostly for Medicaid

Arkansas Online – January 10, 2018

Gov. Asa Hutchinson on Tuesday pitched to legislators a $5.63 billion spending plan for next fiscal year that would be nearly $173 million more than the current general revenue budget, with most of the new money devoted to the state’s Medicaid program. The Children and Family Services Division would get a $7.3 million increase, to $124 million, under the fiscal 2019 proposal. Hutchinson said his proposal includes funding for 65 new child welfare caseworkers.

Also: Governor requests smaller state budget than previously projected, citing ‘efficiencies’:

AZ: Arizona Governor Doug Ducey gives his State of the State address (Includes video)

KYMA – January 09, 2018

Monday’s speech had a particular theme entitled “Spirit of service.” Ducey discussed such topics as the opioid crisis that plagues the state along with his hopes to increase school funding, adopt new policies for ex-prisoners and help those in the child welfare system. Opioid use being a major problem in the state, he spent the past year trying to crack down on the over-prescribing of prescription drugs.

CA: CIO Stepping Down from Key California Agency

Government Technology – January 09, 2018

Peter Kelly, chief deputy director and CIO of the California Health and Human Services Agency’s Office of Systems Integration (OSI), is stepping down from that role and will instead serve as interim product director for a new initiative before leaving the department. Bill Maile, communications director for OSI’s Child Welfare Digital Services (CWDS) project, issued this statement from the department: “We are appreciative of Peter Kelly, who served in role of chief deputy while at same time continuing to be supportive and a champion of the CWDS project. With Peter’s decision to step down from the chief deputy role and seek new career opportunities, we are grateful that he has agreed to stay with OSI for a while longer, to help the project achieve its first release of working code to county child welfare workers.”

FL: Florida governor wants tax cuts, laws to fight opioid crisis

Associated Press – January 09, 2018

Florida Gov. Rick Scott used his final State of the State speech Tuesday to push for tax cuts, reduced driver license fees, laws to fight the opioid crisis and protections for sexual misconduct victims. Scott also called for a constitutional amendment to make it harder to raise taxes and for money to help Puerto Ricans who came to Florida after Hurricane Maria devastated their island.

FL: The Opioid Crisis’ Hidden Victims: Children in Foster Care

Health Day – January 08, 2018

As the opioid epidemic continues to grip the United States, the toll on the littlest victims — the children of addicts — is mounting, new research shows.

GA: Lawmakers push for adoption bill

Moultrie Observer – January 09, 2018

The proposal aims to reflect the way adoptions – both domestic and international – are done today, said Rep. Mary Margaret Oliver, D-Decatur, a co-sponsor of the measure and an attorney who has handled adoptions.

IL: Allendale’s specialized foster parents are Transforming kids’ lives

Daily Herald – January 09, 2018

While it’s difficult finding foster homes for children, period, (in Illinois, 15,000 foster kids are wards of the state), it’s especially difficult to recruit families comfortable taking on children with extensive psychological and behavioral needs. That’s what “specialized foster care” is. “There is a desperate need for more families who are willing and able to open their homes and hearts to children — children entering the system with more acute, complex needs,” said Jason Keeler, president/CEO of Allendale Association, the Lake Villa-based not-for-profit that’s been caring for children in crisis for 120 years.

IN: DCS evaluation, redistricting reform dominate legislature

Hendricks County Flyer – January 09, 2018

House Speaker Brian Bosma, R-Indianapolis, said he would name a special legislative council to undertake a review of the Indiana Department of Child Services. Gov. Eric Holcomb’s administration called for a review of the agency last month after former DCS Director Mary Beth Bonaventura resigned.

IN: Indiana Gov. Eric Holcomb delivers second state of the state speech (Includes video)

WDRB – January 09, 2018

Indiana Gov. Eric Holcomb pledged in his State of the State speech Tuesday night to conduct what he calls a transparent review of the state’s troubled Department of Child Services. But the Republican governor offered no details about any steps he plans to take about an agency that his critics say is enveloped in crisis. Holcomb said in his prepared remarks that he’ll do whatever is necessary to ensure the agency’s success.

Also: The Latest: Democrats say Holcomb’s speech lacked boldness:

IN: Indiana senator wants to pass foster parent ‘Bill of Rights’

WNDU – January 09, 2018

Many Indiana foster parents feel they don’t have a say when it comes to a child’s future. One state senator says he wants to pass a foster parent “Bill of Rights.” Right now, there are too many foster kids and not enough homes. Sen. Jon Ford says, if passed, his bill would require the Department of Child Services (DCS) to form a committee of foster parents and children’s agencies to work together and put together the bill of rights.

Also: Proposed Indiana bill would create ‘Bill of Rights’ for foster parents (Includes video):

Also: Foster parents, state senator push for foster parent bill of rights (Includes video):

Also: Indiana families push for ‘foster parent bill of rights’ (Includes video):

KS: Kansas Foster Care Fix-It Panel Still Looking For Repairs

KCUR – January 09, 2018

A task force formed to fix Kansas’ troubled foster care system relied largely on the ideas of a lone member to meet a deadline for preliminary suggestions, reflecting the daunting nature of its job and some troubles within the panel. The Child Welfare System Task Force, formed in June 2017, submitted its first report, including preliminary recommendations, to the legislature on Monday. But lawmakers only scheduled 35 minutes to discuss that first report at their most recent meeting. Some task force members said that wasn’t enough to encourage any meaningful progress.

KS: UPDATED: Kansas Lawmaker Who Made Racially Charged Comments Steps Down From Chairmanships

KMUW – January 08, 2018

A Kansas lawmaker resigned Tuesday from his legislative chairmanships after racial comments he made drew widespread criticism. Rep. Steve Alford stepped down as chairman of the House Committee on Children and Seniors and as vice-chair of the Child Welfare System Task Force.

MI: Q&A: Laura Mitchell

Grand Rapids Business Journal (GRBJ) – January 09, 2018

Laura Mitchell is the executive director of foster care at Samaritas and oversees the support of more than 800 children in foster care and 500 foster families daily. Mitchell has worked for Samaritas (formerly Lutheran Social Services of Michigan) for 29 years, always in the child welfare/foster care service area.

MN: No. 1 reason children in foster care is parental drug use

Wahpeton Daily News – January 09, 2018

arental substance abuse is the most common primary reason children wind up in foster care, according to a report from Minnesota’s Department of Human Services. It’s the first time drug use has overtaken neglect, the department’s deputy commissioner Chuck Johnson told Minnesota Public Radio News.

MN: State Leaders Acknowledge Racial Imbalance in Child Protection System (Includes video)

KSTP – January 09, 2018

Mothers, attorneys and advocates are calling for a special oversight committee to better balance what they see as racial disproportionality in the state’s child protection system. Census demographics show 13 percent of the people living in Hennepin County are Black. Yet, according to Hennepin County, African-American children make up 37 percent of the kids in the county’s foster care system. “We have very low occurrences of actual abuse against our children, but very high rates of involvement in child protection and out-of-home placement,” Houston said.

NE: Bills target growing opioid addiction in Nebraska

News-Press – January 10, 2018

A trio of Nebraska lawmakers introduced bills Tuesday aimed at addressing the state’s growing problem of opioid addiction. Among their proposals was a limit on opioid prescriptions for minors and a requirement for people to show identification when picking up prescriptions.

NH: Kara Dougherty Elected to Child and Family Services Board (Press release)

McLane Middleton – January 09, 2018

The law firm of McLane Middleton, Professional Association congratulates Kara E. Dougherty on being elected to Child and Family Services of NH’s board of trustees. Child and Family Services of NH is a private, nonprofit that works to advance the well-being of children and families through an array of social services.

NV: Mason Valley woefully short on foster families

Mason Valley News – January 09, 2018

While Clark provides a much-needed service in the community, Lori Nichols, Foster Home Recruiter for the Nevada Department of Health and Human Services, said there should be around 10 foster families in Mason Valley to meet the needs of the community. “It’s going to cause trauma when they (kids) come into foster care. Period,” she said. “If there’s not an available home in their community, it means they will be sent to a home in another community, which is like a whole other world to these kids. It increases that traumatic experience for them. It’s just kind of this constant issue that goes through rural Nevada.”

NY: ACS Launches New Partnership With Former Detectives To Help At-Risk Families (Includes video)

CBSNewYork – January 09, 2018

New York City’s Administration for Children’s Services is hoping to keep kids safer with brand new protocols for families at risk of domestic violence. “Through this new protocol, we are significantly expanding our services to protect families who are at risk of domestic violence or already experiencing domestic violence,” Commissioner David Hansell said.

Also: New York City Child Welfare Agency Will Use Former Cops to Gauge Domestic Violence Risk:

NY: Mona’s House: a home for human trafficking victims (Includes video)

WGRZ – January 09, 2018

Human trafficking and sex trafficking is serious. Victims need a place to go and get back on their feet and that place in Buffalo is Mona’s House. It will open in March.

OK: Budget crisis could disrupt ‘fragile’ improvements in child welfare, monitors of DHS plan say

KPVI – January 09, 2018

Noticeable progress within the child welfare division of the Oklahoma Department of Human Services has been made, but it’s far from a permanent change in the system or culture. On Tuesday, the monitors of the Pinnacle Plan released their bi-annual report of the agency’s reform effort, which launched in 2012 after a negotiated settlement in a federal class-action lawsuit that alleged abuses in foster care.

OR: $10 million lawsuit over Polk County toddler’s death moves forward (Includes video)

Statesman Journal – January 09, 2018

A $10 million lawsuit alleging the Oregon Department of Human Services, City of Monmouth and City of Dallas failed to prevent the death of a 2-year-old boy is moving forward and could go to trial in 2018. According to the wrongful death lawsuit, filed in 2016 by lawyers for the estate of Hayden James Henry, DHS officials failed to properly investigate reports of child abuse and neglect.

Also: Oregon’s child welfare agency is headed to trial over 2-year-old’s death:

OR: Oregon Youth Authority seeks foster parents

Statesman Journal – January 09, 2018

OYA is recruiting for all openings, but is specifically looking to fill a need for youth in a trauma unit at the MacLaren Youth Correctional Facility. Parents must be 21 and older and there is an application and screening process to become a foster parent with OYA, but Pickle mentioned an intangible that is perhaps most important.

PA: Abused and neglected children’s agency get new executive director

Daily Local News – January 09, 2018

Leigh Anne McKelvey was named executive director of CASA Youth Advocates, a nonprofit that recruits, trains and supports volunteers to advocate for the best interests of abused and neglected children in the Delaware and Chester County child welfare systems. McKelvey succeeds Anne Shenberger, who led the organization through a financial and structural turnaround during her nine-year tenure. Shenberger will continue her involvement with the organization in the role of strategic director.

VA: You can help Roanoke Valley foster children without being a foster parent (Includes video)

WDBJ7 – January 10, 2018

Children’s Trust of the Roanoke Valley works to prevent child abuse and neglect. CASA volunteer Susan Tamez says she’s always wanted to find a new way to help children It also offers a program to train volunteer Court Appointed Special Advocates, also known as CASA.

WI: State seeks public’s help in stopping ‘insidious’ crime of human trafficking

Wisconsin State Journal – January 10, 2018

Calling it a “highly mobile crime” that poses unique challenges to policing and prosecution, Wisconsin Attorney General Brad Schimel asked for the public’s help Tuesday in dismantling “insidious” rings of human trafficking that he said had gained footholds in every corner of the state. The first hurdle, he added, is convincing people who haven’t experienced it that the problem is real.

WI: “I kind of want to pay it forward” when it comes to becoming a foster parent (Includes video)

WBAY – January 09, 2018

Brown County’s foster care supervisor said the number of kids entering the program has grown 10-15 percent since last year. In an effort to answer questions and dispel any myths associated with foster parenting, the county is hosting a series of informational sessions throughout the year for anyone interested.

WV: Justices to determine whether WV DHHR liable in infant’s death

Charleston Gazette-Mail – January 09, 2018

There’s no evidence to show Child Protective Services workers could have prevented the death of a 3-month-old girl by interviewing more people who knew her mother, an attorney for the West Virginia Department of Health and Human Resources said Tuesday. At issue in the case is whether the CPS case workers and a supervisor who were privy to an investigation into a complaint from Gillispie (Raynna’s father) about Raynna’s mother, Leslie Erin Boggs, are protected by qualified immunity.

US: How Lawyers Can Help Homeless Youth (Commentary)

Inside Sources – January 10, 2018

Millions of children in the United States experience some form of homelessness each year. They have the same basic needs as all children: a stable place to live, high-quality education and committed adults in their lives. But many homeless children need something more.

US: Judge blocks Trump decision to end young immigrant program DACA (Includes video)

Associated Press – January 10, 2018

A federal judge on Tuesday night temporarily blocked the Trump administration’s decision to end a program protecting young immigrants from deportation. U.S. District Judge William Alsup granted a request by California and other plaintiffs to prevent President Donald Trump from ending the Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals program while their lawsuits play out in court. Alsup said lawyers in favor of DACA clearly demonstrated that the young immigrants “were likely to suffer serious, irreparable harm” without court action. The judge also said the lawyers have a strong chance of succeeding at trial.

US: Lilly Awards $80 Million to Children’s and Disability Agencies

Philanthropy News Digest – January 10, 2018

The Indianapolis-based Lilly Endowment has announced grants totaling $80 million to ten human services agencies serving vulnerable children and youth and individuals with disabilities in central Indiana. Seven disability services agencies and three organizations serving children and youth at risk for adverse long-term outcomes – including abused, neglected, and foster care children – were awarded grants ranging from $2.5 million to $10 million.

US: Despite Concerns Over Child Safety, Homeschool Lobby Aims to Avoid Regulation (Commentary)

Talking Points Memo (TPM) – January 09, 2018

A homeschooling lobby group with a low profile, but growing influence, has a surprising agenda: keeping public money away from home-schoolers, the better to ensure that parents can operate free from government regulation, including from child-welfare workers. Critics of the group, called the Home School Legal Defense Association, say less scrutiny is the last thing homeschooling needs. And they point to a spate of recent instances of misconduct in the home-school community, including child abuse.

US: Fighting Addiction with Connection

Chronicle of Social Change – January 09, 2018

Researchers have tried to better understand addiction by experimenting with rats, placing them in isolation or social settings and observing whether they choose friends, food and other social stimuli, or morphine-laced water. Other researchers have determined that the origin of addiction may lie in childhood trauma, such as abuse and neglect, or loss of a parent through divorce, incarceration or death. Childhood trauma has been linked to feelings of isolation and numerous behavioral and cognitive issues. All of this suggests that the root of addiction may lie in social conditions, in having too few connections and too few choices in life.

Information Gateway resource: Evidence-Based Practice: Substance Use Disorders Treatment:

US: Foster Care Services Struggling Because Of Gaps In States’ Data On Opioid Crisis

Kaiser Health News (KHN) – January 09, 2018

“It’s hard to have enough substance abuse services for these families if we don’t have an accurate idea of how many families are actually being affected by opioid abuse,” said Elissa Glucksman Hyne, a senior policy analyst at the child welfare nonprofit Children’s Rights. Media outlets also report on a rising suicide risk linked to opioids. This article series list is part of the KHN Morning Briefing, a summary of health policy coverage from major news organizations.

US: NCJFCJ Announces $11.2 Million in Grants in 2017 to Improve Outcomes for Children and Families (Press release)

National Council of Juvenile and Family Court Judges (NCJFCJ) – January 09, 2018

The National Council of Juvenile and Family Court Judges (NCJFCJ) announced today that it has received 24 new and supplemental awards providing more than $11.2 million in additional funding; the second highest amount in the organization’s history. The NCJFCJ is devoted to ensuring justice and improving outcomes for families and children in courts nationwide.

US: What Same-Sex Couples Need to Know About Adopting (Commentary)

Advocate – January 09, 2018

Adoption is not an easy process, but I hope my experience can help guide yours.

US: Concerns raised over 2020 census accuracy, funding

Dayton Daily News – December 17, 2017

As the U.S. Census Bureau makes preparations to count every American using a mostly online system for the first time in 2020, experts and politicians on both sides of the aisle are raising red flags. At issue is whether the bureau has the resources it needs to roll out the new technology and ensure an accurate and complete enumeration. And the stakes are high. The results of the census help determine how billions in federal funding gets distributed and how much representation each state gets in Congress.–politics/concerns-raised-over-2020-census-accuracy-funding/QgCFmKdeD2vUvKdT6ez5cK/


Australia: Australia’s child protection system is ripping families apart (Commentary)

Independent Australia – January 09, 2018

Child protection authorities and their personnel may think they are doing a good job, but overall they are not. The majority are well-meaning but that’s not good enough. There are prejudices, class and racist assumptions and horrid policies that betray the well-meaning bit. There should be a royal commission into the child removals, and the horror stories told to the nation in the same manner and with as wide a remit as the nation was allowed to hear the long overdue stories of the institutional sexual abuse victims – more than 8,000 stories.,11090

Ethiopia: Ethiopia Parliament bans International Adoption.

Ethio Daily Post – January 10, 2018

Ethiopian parliament approved a proclamation that bans international adoption on January 9, 2018. According to the parliament the previous proclamation covered for the crimes against adopted children. FBC reported parliamentarian expressed mixed reaction on the approval of the bill and some described the move as inappropriate without preparing suitable and adequate child centers. The other members back the banning stating as reasons the magnitude and seriousness of the problem.

International: Boston opened ‘Pandora’s box’ of clergy sex abuse worldwide

Associated Press – December 20, 2017

Cardinal Bernard Law became a symbol of the Roman Catholic Church’s widespread failure to protect children as he presided over a cover-up of sexual abuse by priests in Boston’s archdiocese. A global reckoning in the church is still happening today, 15 years after he resigned as archbishop.

Also: Sex abuse victims blast deceased Boston Cardinal (Video):

Norway: Immigration and Integration 2016-2017 (Press release)

Government of Norway, Ministry of Justice and Public Security – January 09, 2018

The most recent report covers 2016 and to some extent 2017. It was prepared during the autumn of 2017 by the Ministry of Justice and Public Security in cooperation with the Ministry of Labour and Social Affairs, the Ministry of Education and Research, the Ministry of Children and Equality, and the Ministry of Foreign Affairs. It is mainly based on data from Statistics Norway and the Norwegian Directorate of Immigration and contains statistics on migration, on the composition of immigrants and their Norwegian-born children and on integration indicators from several social areas.



AK: New Kenaitze executive director envisions active tribal engagement

Peninsula Clarion – January 08, 2018

The Kenaitze Tribe has launched several large initiatives in recent years. The tribe completed construction of its Dena’ina Wellness Center, a sprawling health facility in Old Town Kenai, in 2014, and celebrated the launch of its joint jurisdiction wellness court in December 2016. Most recently, the tribe was among 18 Alaska Native organizations that signed an agreement with the state of Alaska to provide child welfare services that have previously been provided by the state.

AR: Progress in foster care seen for state: Agency: 6 of 11 goals completed

Northwest Arkansas Democrat Gazette – January 07, 2018

The Vincent report included 11 recommendations, from appointing a staff member in the governor’s office to coordinate with Children and Family Services (goal listed as completed), to addressing the challenge of placing children with foster families or relatives (listed as “in progress.”) Hutchinson pledged to comply with each of the recommendations, a promise he repeated in September after hosting his second Restore Hope Summit, which highlighted the work done to improve the foster care network.–1/

AZ: DCS putting Mesa family cleared of child neglect on central registry (Includes video)

ABC 15 – January 08, 2018

A Mesa Family cleared of child neglect is once again making headlines. This time, because the Department of Child Safety has notified Brian and Janna Bentley that they’ll be placed on the central registry for child neglect despite the court’s outcome.

CA: Young, gay and living on the street: LGBT youth face increased odds of homelessness

Los Angles Daily News – January 06, 2018

Throughout high school and college, Alicia slept in cars, tents, friends’ couches, benches, on the bus, on the train and in group homes. Almost anywhere but a shelter. “My experience with shelters is that you’d go when it was raining. You’d go to San Francisco, wait in line and sleep on the floor, if you slept at all,” the serious, soft-spoken Oakland woman, who’s now 22, said last week. “It’s scary enough to be a young person there. But if you’re queer you just feel a lot more vulnerable. You definitely avoid them.”

Information Gateway resource: Working With LGBTQ Youth and Families:

CO: Colorado emerges as national model by helping rather than pursuing parents who miss child care payments

Denver Post – January 08, 2018

Colorado is pulling off a culture shift in child-support collection, a new era far from the 1990s’ call to track down “deadbeat” parents, freeze their accounts and suspend their driver’s licenses. The state has renamed its “Division of Child Support Enforcement” to the kinder and more constructive “Child Support Services.” And under an experimental program, it’s helping parents behind on child-support payments find jobs, fight alcohol and drug addictions, and reconnect with their kids.

DE: With grant, Delaware uses data to reduce violence (Includes video)

News Journal – January 08, 2018

Wilmington is one step closer to using government data to identify and help its most at-risk youth. The state of Delaware received an 18-month technical assistance grant from the University of Pennsylvania to integrate its databases, like those maintained by schools and social services, the governor announced last week.

FL: Seidman: Opioid crisis ‘is about us’ (Commentary)

Southwest Florida Herald-Tribune – January 06, 2018

The Sarasota statistics are just as horrifying and the personal stories that go with them even more painful. Just the other day, someone shared with me that a local family had recently lost a second child to overdose. “This is not about ‘those people,'” said Mark Fontaine, CEO of the Florida Behavioral Health Association at a recent Tiger Bay forum on the opioid epidemic. “It’s about our families, our friends, our friends’ children, our wives. It’s about us.”

HI: Hawaii Gov. Ige Seeks Pay Raises for Foster Parents

Associated Press – January 07, 2018

A legal battle over how much families are paid to care for foster children could cost Hawaii millions of dollars, state officials said. A 2013 class-action lawsuit accused the state of violating requirements of the federal Child Welfare Act, which mandates that foster-care payments be sufficient to cover the cost of providing for a child’s basic needs, the Honolulu Star-Advertiser reported.

IL: 360 Youth Services announces new leadership (Press release)

Positively Naperville – January 08, 2018

I would like to share with you that today our 360 Youth Services Board of Directors has officially appointed Harley Jones as our new chief executive officer. Harley joins our team following more than 13 years of experience in progressive leadership positions at non-profit organizations. Most recently, he served as the Regional Disaster Officer of the Chicago and Northern Illinois Chapter of the Red Cross, one of the top five largest chapters in the country.

IL: Animal-assisted therapy helps students cope with anxiety

Bradenton Herald – January 07, 2018

Educators may employ many tactics to correct behavioral issues among students. From proverbial and literal smacks on the wrists to modern-day detentions and suspensions, none works all too well, experts say. One suburban school district is taking a unique approach: animal-assisted therapy.

IN: Families push for foster parent bill of rights (Includes video)

Fox 59 – January 08, 2018

Foster families from around the state are supporting legislation that would create a “foster parent bill of rights.” Jon Ford, R-Terre Haute, authored Senate Bill 233. If passed, the bill would require the Indiana Department of Child Services (DCS) to create a committee of foster parents, child-placing agencies and other experts to write the bill of rights.

IN: Bangert: As DCS roils in Indy, local advocates for neglected kids ‘soldier on’ (Commentary)

Lafayette Journal & Courier – January 06, 2018

Indiana House and Senate leaders were gaveling in the 2018 General Assembly session Wednesday afternoon with a vow that they weren’t going to get caught up this session with a crisis brewing in Indiana’s child neglect and welfare system. What they’d read and heard since the December resignation letter from Mary Beth Bonaventura surfaced – specifically the former Department of Child Services director’s claim that cuts under Gov. Eric Holcomb’s administration “all but ensure children will die” – wasn’t enough for the legislature to jump in right away.

Also: Holcomb shows urgency on DCS front (Commentary):

Also: Looking ahead: Area legislators discuss wide range of topics to be addressed in short session (Requires free registration):

IN: Viewpoint: A new opportunity for innovative care at DCS (Commentary)

South Bend Tribune – January 06, 2018

In the last two years, 400 children in LaPorte County were removed from their homes because of abuse or neglect and entered into the court system. This represents a substantial increase in neglect cases in LaPorte County. While each situation of removal is often unique, there is a profound connection between the county’s drug crisis, education priorities and community health priorities.

KS: Brownback wants funds to help search for dozens of missing foster children (Includes video)

Wichita Eagle – January 08, 2018

Lawmakers expressed anger this fall over revelations that some children were sleeping in offices because no foster care was immediately available. They also voiced frustration with the disclosure that more than 70 children were missing from the foster care system. The number remains at about 70.

KS: Kansas budget proposal to include $16.5 million increase for child welfare services

Lawrence Journal-World – January 08, 2018

Lt. Gov. Jeff Colyer announced Monday that the administration will seek a $16.5 million funding increase over two years to bolster child welfare services at the Department for Children and Families. DCF Secretary Gina Meier-Hummel joined Colyer at a news conference to announce the plan, just hours before the Kansas House and Senate were scheduled to gavel in the first day of the 2018 legislative session.

KS: Kansas Child Welfare Wants More Money So Children Can Sleep In Homes Instead Of Offices

KCUR – January 08, 2018

Legislators and advocates expressed outrage earlier at news that children slept in foster care contractors’ offices because foster homes had no room. Department for Children and Families secretary Gina Meier-Hummel said some of the requested money would go toward holding beds open for hard-to-place kids. The money, $16.5 million over two years, would also allow DCF to hire more people to find kids who have run away or otherwise disappeared from their foster care placements.

KS: New DCF leader pledges to let Kansans ‘hear the rest of the story’ on child deaths

Kansas City Star – January 08, 2018

Gina Meier-Hummel, secretary of the Department for Children and Families, the new leader of Kansas’ child welfare system said Monday that her administration will propose a legislative change so more information is released after a child’s death or serious injury.

MA: Some DCF gains reported, but significant challenges remain

Boston Globe – January 06, 2018

Governor Charlie Baker often points to his efforts to strengthen the state Department of Children and Families since taking office three years ago, with the hiring of 350 new social workers, the appointment of the agency’s first medical director, and the rollout of new policies designed to protect abused and neglected children.

MI: Report: Applying Brain Research Can Help Foster Children Succeed (Includes audio)

Public News Service – January 09, 2018

While many discussions of the needs of foster children often focus on the very young, a new report looks at what adolescents in the system need to thrive. Dr. Jeanette Scheid is a medical consultant with the Michigan Department of Health and Human Services, and she says these young people have had very different life experiences than many of their peers, and many have missed out on some of the things they would have learned in a more traditional family setting.

Report: The Road to Adulthood:

MO: Combatting ‘disinformation’ about child abuse

Source (Washington University at St. Louis) – January 08, 2018

Child abuse is not one thing. It can take the form of physical abuse, sexual abuse, neglect or emotional abuse, and many children suffer multiple forms. “Older children may be less vulnerable to serious and fatal physical injury but remain vulnerable to emotional harm and injury due to lack of supervision and other issues,” Jonson-Reid said.

MO: Missouri Education Board; History Of Foster Care (Audio)

KCUR – January 08, 2018

The Missouri Board of Education is currently in the middle of a political kerfuffle – so, how will area students and teachers be affected? Today, we break down the responsibilities of the Missouri Board of Education and explain their relationship with the schooling system. Then, we learn about the formation of the foster care system in America and its history throughout the past century.

NE: Nonimmune: Human trafficking can happen anywhere

Grand Island Independent – January 06, 2018

Human trafficking includes more than just sex trafficking. It can include labor trafficking, organ trafficking and debt bondage. Sex trafficking has just recently become a more recognizable issue, with states and agencies forming task forces to combat it. Being sex trafficked is not a choice.

OH: Grandparents raising kids of addicts struggle with little aid

Columbus Dispatch – January 07, 2018

The nation’s crisis of drug addiction remains relentless in its outsourcing of parental responsibility. But the pool of aid to help so-called kinship families clothe, feed and educate kids they neither expected nor planned for barely budges. The vast majority of children who wind up with other relatives aren’t in the protective-services system. Those who start out there are more easily tracked, and their numbers have soared. Since 2010, according to the Public Children Services Association of Ohio, the number of kids who come into state custody and are placed with relatives in lieu of foster care has increased by 116 percent.

OH: Opioid epidemic takes toll on children of Tuscarawas County (Includes video)

New Philadelphia Times-Reporter – January 07, 2018

Officials at Tuscarawas County Job & Family Services have seen more and more children with severe behavioral issues because their parents are addicted to opiates. While the number of children in foster care in the county is dropping, the cost to the county is not because of the need for specialized treatment to deal with these behavioral issues.

OK: Ginnie Graham: Kids in greatest need are reason Laura Dester Shelter hasn’t closed yet

KPVI – January 07, 2018

The Laura Dester Shelter was supposed to be closed by now. Three years ago, officials at the Oklahoma Department of Human Services announced the closure of the state’s emergency shelters for children in Tulsa and Oklahoma City. The Oklahoma City shelter shut its doors more than a year ago. Laura Dester is nothing like it used to be, from the needs of the kids to the effort to find them permanent homes.

PA: A potentially lifesaving algorithm in Allegheny County, PA

Child Welfare Monitor – January 08, 2018

In August 2016, Allegheny County Pennsylvania (which includes Pittsburgh) became the first US jurisdiction to use a predictive algorithm to screen every call to the child abuse and neglect hotline. In a brilliant article for the New York Times Magazine, science writer Dan Hurley clearly explains how the tool works and how it changes current practice.

Also: Can an Algorithm Tell When Kids Are in Danger?:

RI: Attorney General Kilmartin Announces Settlement Resolving Alleged Deficiencies at DCYF (Press release)

Rhode Island Government – January 08, 2018

Attorney General Peter F. Kilmartin today announced a settlement agreement between the State of Rhode Island and Children’s Rights, Inc., resolving a decade-long civil action that alleged deficiencies at the Rhode Island Department of Children, Youth & Families (DCYF). This case was negotiated and settled with the goal of making the child welfare system better for the children in the care of DCYF and their families.

Also: Attorney General Kilmartin Announces Settlement Resolving Alleged Deficiencies at DCYF (Press release):

Also: R.I. agrees to settle lawsuit alleging improper treatment of children in state care:

TX: Neighborhood advocates working to prevent child abuse

Fox San Antonio – January 08, 2018

Child abuse takes place in every corner of our community, but new numbers show it’s especially prevalent on the city’s west side. City leaders and Family Service Asssocation are now unveiling a two-year pilot program meant to prevent child abuse. It’s paid for through the city’s budget and will train women who live on the west side to work with at-risk families.

WI: Brown County’s need for foster parents increases every year (Includes video)

WBAY – January 08, 2018

It’s a need experts say continues to grow every year as more and more kids enter the foster care program. Brown County’s foster care supervisor, Gena Schupp, said the number of kids in the program has increased 10 to 15 percent since last year.

US: As U.S. Separates Families at Border, Human Rights Groups File Complaint (Includes audio)

KQED – January 08, 2018

Although the forced separation of children from parents in the custody of U.S. immigration officials is not yet a policy, it’s already a practice along the U.S.-Mexico border, according to eight human rights groups that filed a complaint against the Department of Homeland Security.

US: Foster Kids’ Standard Screenings Tests May Be of Low Value (Requires free registration)

G2 Intelligence – January 08, 2018

It is estimated that more than 400,000 children are in the custody of U.S. child welfare agencies. To address concerns related to “uncoordinated or discontinuous” medical care, most states mandate children receive a physical upon entering the foster care system. In 2005, the American Academy of Pediatrics issued expert opinion-based guidance in its Healthy Foster Care America report recommending certain disease screenings through laboratory testing as part of this examination.

US: Report: Anti-LGBTQ Laws Across the U.S. Hamper a Huge, Untapped Pool of Prospective Adoptive and Foster Parents

Chronicle of Social Change – January 08, 2018

Since the U.S. legalized same-sex marriage in 2015, several states have passed laws allowing publicly funded child welfare organizations to exclude millions of LGBTQ adults as potential foster parents. This, combined with a Trump administration executive order on religious liberty, is cause for concern over the future of child welfare programs, according to a new policy brief from the Human Rights Campaign (HRC).

Also: Disregarding the Best Interest of the Child:

US: Why Do Child Welfare Agencies Keep Demanding Poor People Raise Their Kids ‘Independently’ When No One Else Does?

Youth Today – January 08, 2018

All of which raises one obvious question: Who in the world raises a child independently? Certainly not middle-class families. They have child care if they want it when the children are very young, and after-school care when they’re older. They have babysitters when they just need a break. Often they have housekeepers. If they have mental health problems they can go to their discreet family doctor who can refer them to a nice private therapist – and no one is going to call child protective services.

US: Richard Wexler: Child welfare has a foster care addiction (Commentary)

Akron Beacon Journal – January 06, 2018

If only the member agencies of the Public Children Services Association of Ohio were as good at actually helping children as they are at fear-mongering. Then, Ohio would have the finest child welfare systems in America. But instead of facing up to their own role in Ohio’s child welfare crisis, the PCSAO’s message in a Dec. 24 column, “Overwhelmed in the opioid crisis,” boils down to: The buck stops anywhere but here. To hear the PCSAO tell it, it’s all because of horrible parents who overdose in front of their children and stingy state legislators who never give us enough money! In fact, many problems lie with county child welfare agencies that for years have clung to an outdated approach to child welfare that can be boiled down to “take the child and run.”


China: China’s Abandoned Children (Part 1)

Huffington Post – January 08, 2018

Today in China, there are around one million abandoned children, and that number is growing by ten thousand per year. According to Nathan Vanderklippe in his article for The Globe and Mail, as many as 98% of these children are disabled, left behind by parents who are unable or unwilling to care for them. Some of these children are handed over to the welfare system while others are left to die.

Haiti: They’re abandoned and separated. This is the perilous plight of Haiti’s children

Associated Press – January 06, 2018

Michelo Difficile works on the Haiti-Dominican border with the International Organization for Migration, which helps Haiti’s child welfare agency, the Institut du Bien-Etre Social et de Recherches, or IBESR, reunite abandoned and separated children with their families. The United Nations’ agency also monitors trafficking along the border.



AR: ‘Birth Certificates Should be About Biology,’ Says Arkansas Lawmaker Challenging Hutchinson Order

PJ Media – January 07, 2018

Arkansas Gov. Asa Hutchinson (R) settled the matter in December of whether same-sex married couples could have both of their names printed on the birth certificates of children conceived with the help of a surrogate. He ordered state officials to follow the instructions of a U.S. Supreme Court decision and include both parents’ names – even though in the case of a lesbian couple neither could be the biological father, and when two men marry neither can give birth.

Information Gateway resource: Obtaining Birth and/or Adoption Records:

AZ: Our View: Send education tax to voters in 2018 (and other priorities) (Includes video)

Arizona Republic – January 08, 2018

Priority 2: Hold the line on child welfare. The Department of Child Safety has been addressing the backlog of cases and reducing the number of children in foster care. This represents positive change. But lawmakers must make sure this is not just a numbers game. Child safety – not just statistics – must remain the top priority.

GA: Rural development, adoption, opioid crisis on legislative agenda

Valdosta Daily Times – January 05, 2018

Houston, Pirkle and Kirk all mentioned the need to readdress the adoption bill that got bogged down at the end of the 2017 legislative session. “We ended the session on a bad note because we did not come up with a clean adoption bill,” said Houston.

Also: The Week: Cleanup may be in order after 2017 tussle over adoption bill:–regional-govt–politics/the-week-cleanup-may-order-after-2017-tussle-over-adoption-bill/cIRtMtTgpzNyaKHQlYkWVP/

HI: Hawaii Gov. Ige seeks pay raises for foster parents

Associated Press – January 07, 2018

A legal battle over how much families are paid to care for foster children could cost Hawaii millions of dollars, state officials said.

IN: In first year, Gov. Eric Holcomb sidesteps conflict, lacks defining moments (Includes video)

Indianapolis Star – January 07, 2018

Mary Beth Bonaventura, the agency’s well-respected leader, accused Holcomb’s office of cutting programs and continuing policies that “all but ensure children will die” in her resignation letter last month, prompting outcry from Democrats and some child welfare advocates.

IN: Our Opinion: Hoosier lawmakers should step up, not aside, on DCS crisis

South Bend Tribune – January 07, 2018

The crisis within Indiana’s Department of Child Services, detailed by its outgoing director and corroborated by others in the child welfare system, demands immediate focus from state leaders. Gov. Eric Holcomb, who called for a complete assessment of DCS, has acknowledged the seriousness of the issue. The Republicans who control the state legislature? Not so much.

Also: ‘There’s something wrong’: Lawmakers express concern over number of kids in DCS system:

Also: Democratic Leader Questions GOP ‘Secrecy’ On Child Agency:

IN: Proposed bill would expand use of baby boxes

Dubois County Herald – January 05, 2018

Indiana’s Safe Haven Law allows a person to surrender a newborn anonymously to a hospital or site that is a staffed emergency medical services provider. That person can give up the baby without the fear of being arrested or prosecuted.

KS: Brownback hails falling child-poverty rate, legislators anxious about foster care numbers (Commentary)

Topeka Capital-Journal – January 05, 2018

On the campaign trail in 2010, U.S. Sen. Sam Brownback promised Kansans a cornerstone of his service as governor would be devotion to drawing low-income children away from the clenched fist of poverty. Eight years later, as Gov. Brownback settles into his final year in office, the 2018 Legislature is preparing to judge whether administration policies strengthened or frayed the safety net of the state’s most economically vulnerable kids.

KS: Kansas welfare agency not filling all positions, expects salary deficits

Wichita Eagle – January 05, 2018

The Kansas agency in charge of foster care and other welfare programs expects to run deficits this year in its salary budgets and has not been approving all requests to fill open positions, an official at the Department for Children and Families said in email to employees just days before Lt. Gov. Jeff Colyer is expected to announce budget increases.

KY: First lady’s foster care initiative to launch in Hardin County

Hardin County News-Enterprise – January 07, 2018

The foster care system in Kentucky is a beast. That’s the opinion of Edward Palmer who is working with first lady Glenna Bevin to create better outcomes for children in the system. “We have a responsibility to ensure that the 8,600 kids succeed,” Palmer said, referring to the state’s foster care population.

KY: ‘Brutal.’ ‘Unprecedented.’ Nothing is safe as lawmakers slash $1 billion from budget

Lexington Herald-Leader – January 05, 2018

Tiffany Dunn, who teaches English at Lassiter Middle School in Louisville, began to weep Tuesday at the state Capitol. She was speaking at a rally of educators scared of what the 2018 General Assembly will do to Kentucky’s schools when it axes up to $1 billion a year from the state’s $11 billion General Fund. No additional revenue means chronic problems will go unaddressed for another two years. For example, in December, a panel of lawmakers recommended changes to Kentucky’s adoption and foster care system, which they said was too full and too slow to adequately serve the more than 11,000 children living in foster care in 2016. But it would cost the state $28 million to hire enough social workers to reduce the staggering caseloads that allow abused and neglected children to slip through the cracks, sometimes fatally.

LA: Louisiana breaks adoption record for second year in a row (Includes video)

WAFB – January 05, 2018

For the second year in a row, Louisiana broke a record when it comes to the number adoptions out of foster care. During the fiscal year of October 1, 2016 through September 30, 2017, 771 foster children were adopted statewide. That exceeds the 735 children adopted the year before, which was itself a record.

ME: LePage administration tries to show it’s doing some good with welfare funds. It isn’t working (Commentary)

Bangor Daily News – January 05, 2018

A 2013 study by University of Maine social work professor Sandy Butler found that more than a third of families she surveyed who lost assistance after the state implemented a five-year lifetime limit on the financial help went on to lose electricity or another utility service. Twenty percent reported being evicted, having to relocate or moving to a homeless shelter. And 70 percent reported relying on food banks for sustenance after losing help from the state’s Temporary Assistance for Needy Families program.

Also: Maine Voices: Care with which we treat children in our society is too often illusory:

MN: Parental drug abuse most common primary reason children are placed in foster care

Sun Focus – January 07, 2018

Child protection reports continue to increase in Minnesota, and parents’ substance abuse is the most common primary reason for children entering the foster care system, according to information released today by the Minnesota Department of Human Services. In 2016, more than 39,700 children were the subject of almost 31,000 accepted maltreatment reports.

MN: Lawsuit Alleging Failure within State, Hennepin County Child Protection System Heads to Federal Court (Includes video)

KSTP – January 05, 2018

The Department of Human Services and Hennepin County are asking a federal judge to dismiss the lawsuit filed against them, alleging the state and county’s child protection program is systematically failing children. The lawsuit, filed in May of 2017, details the accounts of 13 children in Hennepin County’s child protection system and their troubling outcomes.

MT: Few lawmakers have used new bill to review child abuse cases (Includes video)

Great Falls Tribune – January 05, 2018

Two lawmakers have reviewed child abuse and neglect case records from the state’s Child and Family Services division since a law was enacted in October that allows them access to information but sets a slew of limitations as to what they can and can’t do.

NH: Report: Most N.H. abuse investigations handled well, but backlog overwhelms

Associated Press – January 05, 2018

An outside review of child welfare operations says more staff is needed to process 2,200 overdue cases in the state.

Also: Outside Review: DCYF Had Backlog of More Than 2,000 Cases:

Also: Review Report:

NJ: New Jersey Governor-Elect Taps Christine Norbut Beyer to Head Child Welfare Agency

Chronicle of Social Change – January 05, 2018

New Jersey Governor-Elect Phil Murphy (D) has nominated Christine Norbut Beyer, a senior director for Casey Family Programs, to lead the New Jersey Department of Children and Families (DCF). Beyer was an assistant child welfare commissioner in New Jersey when the agency was called the Division of Youth and Family Services, and joined Casey’s consulting team in 2012.

NM: Governor unveils budget proposal (Includes video)

KOB 4 – January 05, 2018

The $6.23 billion proposal focuses on economic growth and strengthening schools, in addition to targeting child welfare and public safety.

Also: Governor Susana Martinez Unveils $6.23 Billion FY 2019 Budget Proposal:$6.23_Billion_FY_2019_Budget_Proposal.pdf

NY: County lawsuit seeks millions from drug companies

Oswego County News Now – January 06, 2018

A lawsuit filed in state Supreme Court Thursday by Oswego County claims drug manufacturers conspired to develop a complex web of misleading information about the safety and effectiveness of opioid pain medications in an effort to minimize the risks of addiction and maximize profits. Department of Social Services Commissioner Stacy Alvord said the financial impact of the opioid epidemic on counties across the state is dramatic. Health care costs have significantly increased, Alvord said, and in Oswego County there has been an increase in the number of children placed in foster care due to their family being “ravaged by the effects of addiction.”

OH: Foster care in demand because of opioid epidemic (Includes video)

WFMJ – January 05, 2018

Due to the Opioid problem in the Valley, 21 News has been reporting on the need for foster families. “It is about a 180 day process which includes 36 hours of pre- service training,” stated Pape. “As well as a home study which includes safety, a psychological evaluation, finger printing”.

OH: Our view: Federal child abuse money must be saved

Newark Advocate – January 05, 2018

The money is used for a variety of services across the country – its flexibility is part of the reason it is under attack because it is difficult to measure. But in Ohio the money is largely used to support children services, and in Licking County it is wholly used to investigate cases of child abuse and neglect. Putting $400,000 of federal money for the county in jeopardy could not come at a worse time, with more than 500 children in the county’s care, up more than a third from the start of 2017.

RI: Cranston West psychologist cleared of failing to report sex abuse of student

Providence Journal – January 05, 2018

District Court magistrate this week cleared a Cranston High School West psychologist of a charge that he failed to fulfill his legal obligation to report allegations of sexual abuse to the Department of Children, Youth and Families. District Court Magistrate Joseph P. Ippolito Jr. acquitted George Blessing of the single misdemeanor count Wednesday after a bench trial in which the state called three witnesses to the stand, said Blessing’s lawyer, Jason Knight.

WA: A new response to child abuse

Walla Walla Union-Bulletin – January 07, 2018

The Walla Walla Police Department’s headquarters right next to a child-friendly forensic interview room.

WI: Wisconsin’s pregnant addicts would get more care under proposed opioid strategy

Marshfield News-Herald – January 05, 2018

Pregnant Wisconsin women addicted to opioids could have greater access to treatment under recommendations approved Friday by a state committee.

US: Julia Seng, University of Michigan – Pregnancy and PTSD (Includes audio)

WAMC – January 08, 2018

Toxic stress can affect more than just a pregnant person. In today’s Academic Minute, the University of Michigan’s Julia Seng says child abuse and neglect can affect more than one generation in a family.

US: Monitor Editorial: Evaluating 2017 immigration policies and 2018 goals

Monitor – January 07, 2018

The Department of Homeland Security in December announced fiscal 2017 arrests by U.S. Customs and Border Protection (CBP) were 310,531 nationwide, 303,916 of which were along the Southwest border. This is down 31 percent from 450,954 total nationwide arrests by Border Patrol in fiscal 2016. Arrests on the Southwest border were down a quarter, or 26 percent, from 408,870 in fiscal 2016 under Obama’s last year in office. Despite this drop, DHS reported an uptick beginning in May in illegal entry arrests by unaccompanied minors and families. And by year’s end, 48,681 children had crossed alone and were under the care of federal authorities, just 18 percent below the 59,757 unaccompanied children detained in fiscal 2016.

Also: The Monitor’s ongoing Editorial immigration series since 2014 at

US: Missed Opportunities to Help Homeless Youths (Commentary)

Huffington Post – January 05, 2018

Home for the holidays. For many people that’s a happy phrase, just as for many Americans the last few weeks included welcomed vacations and celebrations – a time of plenty, gratitude, and family that marked the joyous holiday season. But “home for the holidays” is an empty promise for thousands of young people who didn’t have a place at anyone’s holiday tables and have little hope for a better 2018. Instead they move into the new year trying to survive the bitter temperatures and with still nowhere to call home.

Also: Report: Missed Opportunities: Youth Homelessness in America: National Estimates:

US: Essential touch: Research finds level of affection given to a baby physically affects their DNA – December 23, 2017

There is more quantifiable evidence that proves babies are affected down to the molecular level in their DNA by receiving more or less affection. Such evidence could be cited in court cases.

Also: How often you hold your baby actually affects their DNA, study finds:


India: India Suspends US Adoption Agency Over Sherin Mathews Case (Includes video)

International Business Times – January 08, 2018

The Indian government suspended an American adoption agency for “negligence” in its assessment of adoptive parents of 3-year-old Sherin Mathews, who died of “homicidal violence” last year. The young girl, whose body was found in October 2017, chocked to death after her foster father “physically assisted” her with drinking milk.

India: Child’s rights sacred, cannot be bartered by orphanage in-charges: SC

IANS – January 05, 2018

The Supreme Court on Thursday said that the rights of a child were “absolutely sacred” and a child cannot be bartered away at the whim and fancy or selfishness of the person in-charge of orphanages. Observing that the “Right of a child is absolutely sacred. Future of the country depends on the character and destiny of children …”, the bench of Chief Justice Dipak Misra, Justice A.M.Khanwilkar and Justice D.Y.Chandrachud said that it would take comprehensive view of the running of orphanages in the country.

United Kingdom: Greater use of the private and charitable sectors can improve the standard of foster care (Commentary)

Conservative Home – January 05, 2018

Birmingham City Council’s Step Down programme was launched in November 2014, with the purpose of increasing the stability of fostering. The service delivery is funded using a Social Impact Bond issued by Bridges Venture, a social capital investment fund which receives payment from Birmingham City Council if a placement remains stable after 52 weeks. The contract only pays the service provider once outcomes are achieved, rather than for the provision of services.


CA: DCFS’ new director discusses the future of LA’s foster care system (Audio)

KPCC – January 04, 2018

There are more than 30,000 children in the Los Angeles County foster care system, and the Los Angeles County Department of Children and Family Services is tasked with taking care of them and the welfare of other kids in the region.

GA: Cobb lawmakers eye adoption, opioids, texting while driving

Marietta Daily Journal – January 04, 2018

State Rep. Bert Reeves, R-Marietta, will take another crack at a major bill on adoption that got tangled up in the Senate during the last session. The bill cleared the House and seemed poised to pass with bipartisan support in last year’s session, until state Sen. William Ligon, R-Brunswick, added language allowing adoption agencies to refuse adoptions based on religious beliefs.

Also: The Week: Cleanup may be in order after 2017 tussle over adoption bill:–regional-govt–politics/the-week-cleanup-may-order-after-2017-tussle-over-adoption-bill/cIRtMtTgpzNyaKHQlYkWVP/

IA: Fired social worker: I was a scapegoat in Natalie Finn starvation case (Includes video)

Des Moines Register – January 04, 2018

The state caseworker fired for mishandling child abuse allegations involving Natalie Finn and her siblings says Iowa’s Department of Human Services abandoned her after the 16-year-old was starved to death, even though others involved in the case came up short as well.

IN: Charbonneau champions baby box bill

Rensselaer Republican – January 04, 2018

Indiana State Senator Ed Charbonneau, a Republican from Valparaiso of the Fifth Senate District, released a statement regarding Senate Bill 123 on Thursday, Jan, 4. The bill, officially authored by Senator Travis Holdman, is meant to encourage fire departments throughout the state to install a newborn safety device or “baby box” at their location.

Also: Houchin co-authors bill to expand use of ‘baby boxes’:

MN: Native Women’s Shelter: One Door Closes, Another Opens (Includes audio)

Public News Service – January 05, 2018

Last month, nine residents of a South Minneapolis shelter learned their long-term home would be shuttered in June. Kateri Residence – a 44-year-old program to help Native-American women recover from chemical addiction AND reunite with their children – said it couldn’t afford to keep going.

MN: Drugs are now the top reason Minn. kids are put in foster care

Minnesota Public Radio – January 04, 2018

Twenty-seven percent of children placed in foster care in 2016 were removed from their homes due to parental drug use, making it the No. 1 reason kids wind up in foster care, according to a report from the state Department of Human Services. This is the first time drug use has overtaken neglect, human services deputy commissioner Chuck Johnson told MPR News.

MT: Annual report: Child protective cases at record high in Missoula County

Missoulian – January 04, 2018

Child abuse and neglect cases continued to tick up each year, setting another record in 2017 with 195 cases filed, four more than 2016. Last year, Pabst said the number of those cases has been increasing at an “alarming rate” and said substance abuse and addiction – primarily involving methamphetamine – have been tied to the recent spike.

Also: Missoula Co. releases 2017 crime stats:

Also: Daines introduces bill to combat meth use in Montana:

NE: Nebraska Officials Respond to Report of Sexual Abuse in State’s Child Welfare System

Chronicle of Social Change – January 04, 2018

Sen. Kate Bolz (D-Nebraska) said last week that she intends to seek a legislative resolution to establish an oversight committee over Nebraska’s child welfare system, which is dealing with the fallout of a report about the sexual abuse of kids in foster care.

Summary Report: Sexual Abuse of State Wards, Youth in Adoptive or Guardian Homes, and Youth in Residential Placement:

NH: Outside Review: DCYF Had Backlog of More Than 2,000 Cases As Of November

New Hampshire Public Radio – January 04, 2018

Of the 100 cases it analyzed, Eckerd found two that didn’t meet the criteria for being closed – but the firm said it didn’t find any evidence of ongoing safety concerns in either case, according to a review released Thursday.

Also: Eckerd Connects Review of New Hampshire DCYF:

Also: Consultant says DCYF should prioritize reducing backlog of cases:

OH: County agency wants to put 1.2-mill levy on May ballot

Findlay Courier – January 05, 2018

The levy would generate about $2.31 million annually and would cover expenses for child protective services, adult protective services, and child care expenses, all of which are straining the department’s budget.

TN: Opiod crisis has an impact on foster care (Commentary)

Johnson City Press – January 05, 2018

Like most states, Tennessee is in urgent need of volunteers willing to become a foster parent or serve as a mentor to a child in foster care. This need has grown dramatically in recent years as a result of the opioid crisis, which has forced children from their homes and addicted parents into foster care.

TX: Post-Harvey Mental Health Support Sees Continued Demand, New Concerns

Houston Public Media – January 03, 2018

Houston school counselors continue to see students with psychological trauma connected to storm Harvey last year. David Head of the support group Communities in Schools says the mental health impact of the storm also uncovered preexisting concerns among students that counselors can now address.

WA: The Puget Sound region needs 24/7 services for homeless youth (Commentary)

Seattle Times – January 04, 2018

Ask young people living on the streets if they want a safe place to call home, and you’ll get an unequivocal yes. The problem is that there is only one housing slot available for every three young people experiencing homelessness in King County.

Also: Count Us In 2017 Homelessness report:

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

US: Donaldson Adoption Institute Has Closed Down

Chronicle of Social Change – January 04, 2018

The Donaldson Adoption Institute, a national adoption research organization based in New York City, has closed its doors after more than 20 years. Since its inception it has produced surveys, research and reports on a range of adoption issues including education, mental health, race and post-adoption support. In 2016, the institute launched the Let’s Adopt Reform initiative, which aimed to ignite a new conversation about adoption, foster care and the modern family.


CA: Santa Barbara County law enforcement officials say their methods for battling sex and human trafficking are improving (Includes video)

Santa Maria Sun – January 03, 2018

Santa Barbara County law enforcement, spearheaded by the District Attorney’s (DA) and Sheriff’s offices, ramped up their activity this past year to limit human trafficking in their jurisdictions, in part thanks to a $1 million-plus grant from the U.S. Department of Justice.

CO: Safe Haven Law back in spotlight after Denver-area baby’s death (Includes video)

KOAA – January 04, 2018

The circumstances surrounding the newborn’s death have not been announced, but Colorado’s Save Haven Law law allows parents to surrender a newborn in its first 72 hours of life, no questions asked and without criminal liability, if the baby is alive and healthy. The law, enacted in 2000, has resulted in relinquishment of 56 infants.

IN: Indiana GOP lawmakers won’t act on child services crisis

Associated Press – January 03, 2018

The two most powerful Republicans in the Indiana Legislature said they do not plan to take major action to address a growing crisis in the Department of Child Services during this year’s session, which kicked off Wednesday. The move by House Speaker Brian Bosma and Senate leader David Long will help shield Gov. Eric Holcomb while his administration regroups from the first major criticism the Republican has received since taking office roughly a year ago.

Also: GOP to defer action on child services agency until after review:

Also: Child services problems put parties at odds:

Also: Democrats, Republicans Want “Full Review” of DCS, but Differ on How and When:

Also: Democrats demand Indiana General Assembly investigate Department of Child Services:

Also: Governor: Audit team to assess embattled Child Services:

IN: National Leader in Opioid Addiction Treatment Opens in Indianapolis to Combat Massive Overdose Mortality and Strain on Economy (Press release)

CleanSlate Centers – January 03, 2018

CleanSlate Centers, a national leader in outpatient medication-assisted treatment for opioid and alcohol addiction, today announced the opening of two new centers in Indianapolis, Indiana to combat the vicious cycle of opioid addiction and death from overdose that is devastating the city and taking a toll on the state’s economy.

IN: Sen. Holdman proposes legislation expanding use of baby boxes (Includes video)

WNDU – January 03, 2018

Wednesday, one senator is proposing legislation that would expand the use of baby boxes in which a mother can anonymously give up her newborn. Republican state Sen. Travis Holdman of Markle says his bill would allow fire departments that are continually staffed to install the devices.

MI: ‘I didn’t sign up for this.’ ‘Grandfamilies’ are becoming a societal norm as more grandparents raise grandkids

Tri-County Times – January 03, 2018

Ralph and Kim Jackson of Fenton never expected to raise four more kids, in addition to their own two sons and two daughters. When Michigan Child Protective Services stepped in to take their grandkids away from their oldest daughter and her husband, the choice was clear. Their home was deemed unfit to live in, and the parents’ rights were finally terminated after the state charged them with environmental neglect.

Information Gateway resource: Resources for Kinship Caregivers:

MN: Family Spirit program aims to help Native parents improve kids’ prospects

Minn Post – January 03, 2018

Everyone loves their children but not everyone understands that the way we care for the youngest among us will have an impact on our society for years to come. With that reality in mind, a new program run by Headway Emotional Health Services, a Twin Cities-based mental health provider for families, aims to improve the parenting skills of at-risk American Indian parents by helping them learn to give their infant-to-preschool-aged children the support they need to be prepared for success later in life.

MN: Fight of their lives: White Earth leads way in opioid battle

Detroit Lakes Online – January 03, 2018

The White Earth Reservation has been hard hit by the opioid epidemic, but the Ojibwe band north of Detroit Lakes has not taken the problem lying down, and in some ways has taken a leading role in fighting addiction. Tribes face unique challenges, he added: They are dealing with multi-generational historical trauma, including loss of land and independence. They are struggling to preserve historical language, culture, and spirituality. They have to cope with too many untimely deaths, health disparities, and child welfare system disparities, as well as court system sentencing and incarceration disparities, Dr. Gardner said.

MO: Missouri foster children top agenda for first lady Sheena Greitens

St. Louis Public Radio – January 03, 2018

Since Missouri voters elected Eric Greitens governor, his wife Sheena Greitens has been working on behalf of a group that doesn’t usually get much attention from high profile advocates: The 13,000 children in the custody of the Missouri Department of Social Services Children’s Division.

Also: Sheena Greitens talks importance of adoptions, foster care:

MT: Montana’s dubious distinction: Child removal capital of America (Commentary)

Missoulian – January 03, 2018

Montana loves to take a swing at “bad mothers.” But an earlier “drug plague” – crack cocaine – should have taught us that the blow almost always lands on the children.

Also: Addicted and expecting: How Montana’s lack of resources impacts mothers and their children:

NC: Foster care nonprofit needs help in finding a new home

Gaston Gazette – January 03, 2018

Least of These Carolinas has had to find more space for its main office a couple of times since being founded nearly five years ago in Gastonia. But with the organization bursting at the seams again, Executive Director Susanna Kavanaugh said they’re eyeing a long-term solution. “We have the opportunity to purchase a building of our own with little to no debt,” she said. “But we are short about $20,000 and are trying to raise that by Jan. 31.”

ND: Foster Care in North Dakota (Includes video)

KFYRTV – January 03, 2018

On average, fifteen hundred children are in North Dakota’s foster system every month.

NJ: Murphy Picks Two National Experts for Top Human Services, Child Welfare Jobs

NJ Spotlight – January 04, 2018

Carole Johnson, a senior policy director in the White House under President Barack Obama who worked on the Affordable Care Act, mental health and substance use services, and aging programs, was tapped to head the Department of Human Services, the state’s largest department. Christine Norbut Beyer, who once led the now-defunct New Jersey Division of Youth and Family Services and served as a senior director at the Casey Family Programs, a national child welfare advocate, was picked to head the Department of Children and Families, where she once worked as an assistant commissioner.

Also: Murphy picks leaders for health and children’s services:

Also: Murphy picks two more women for cabinet positions: DHS and DCF:

OH: Eight Pilot Counties Chosen for Foster Care Recruitment Program

Sunbury News – January 03, 2018

Ohio Attorney General Mike DeWine announced that eight counties hit hard by the opioid epidemic have been chosen to participate in a family finding and foster family recruitment program DeWine announced in August.

Also: Clark County to recruit relatives, foster families due to drug crisis (Includes video):–politics/clark-county-recruit-relatives-foster-families-due-drug-crisis/D2UNWMUJuCdJ7bQeilh8QO/

Also: Fund seeks to help counties pay bills, fight opioid abuse:

OK: Health Department Reveals Plan To Fix Budget Crisis (Includes video)

News 9 – January 03, 2018

In the wake of the financial scandal at the state Department of Health, the department is releasing a new plan to get things back on track. The plan also outlines cuts to programs that would likely lead to layoffs. Among those cuts are cuts to food safety inspections for restaurants and a planned combining of several child protection services.

OR: Foster care in Oregon: Judge cuts through the BS from DHS about IQ (Commentary)

NCCPR Child Welfare Blog – January 01, 2018

Last month, the Oregon Department of Human Services deployed three lawyers to call 40 witnesses over 11 days in a desperate attempt to keep one child in foster care. They had confiscated the child, at birth, from Amy Fabbrini and Eric Ziegler. Fortunately, they failed. After ten months in foster care, the child was returned to his parents.

Also: Judge rules Oregon parents with low IQs can take youngest son home (Column):

TX: New series of reports exposes reality of Texas’ youngest victims of sex trafficking

Texas Tribune – January 03, 2018

In a series titled ‘Sold Out,’ the Texas Tribune painted a picture of the world of sex trafficking to detail its effect on the lives of the American children caught up and reportedly exploited by the “pipeline” connecting Texas’ child welfare system to the sex trade.

WA: How Spokane is radically reinventing its yearly homeless count

Inlander – January 04, 2018

On a cold day last January, an outreach team had just left from the Crosswalk teen homeless shelter, ready to conduct the same mission the city of Spokane has every year: Find homeless community members and ask them a battery of questions like “Where did you stay last night?” and “What caused your homelessness?” Done right, the federally mandated annual point-in-time count can give a vital sense of the scope and nature of homelessness in Spokane.

WA: Students in foster care often need extra support to graduate

Education Drive – January 03, 2018

Being in foster care can have a big impact not only on the individual lives of students, but also on the educational measures of school districts and on society, as well. According to 2008 statistics from the National Working Group on Foster Care and Education, “students in foster care score 16-20 percentile points below their peers in state standardized testing; less than 60% of students in foster care finish high school; only 3% of children who have been in foster care attend post-secondary education after high school graduation; and 42% of children do not begin school immediately after entering foster care, often because of missing records and gaps in school attendance.”

WV: Sex Trafficking Is on the Rise in West Virginia Due to This Growing Problem

Global Citizen – January 03, 2018

West Virginia has launched an initiative to identify and intervene in cases of sex trafficking. One of the most frightening consequences of the US opioid epidemic is unfolding in West Virginia, where some parents have traded their own daughters for money to feed their heroin dependence, West Virginia Public Radio reported Wednesday.

US: Surge In Foster Children Amid Opioid Crisis

WBUR – January 04, 2018

What happens when opioids ravage the lives of mothers and fathers? More foster children who need homes and families. Opioids and the crisis in foster care. This program airs on January 4, 2018. Audio will be available after the broadcast.

US: Building Bridges Between Birth Parents, Foster Parents

Chronicle of Social Change – January 03, 2018

Working as a peer recovery coach, Darrington trains foster parents to help them understand unique challenges that birth parents face when their child is taken into the foster care system. “My whole goal is to rebrand the child welfare system so families feel safe to do their part,” Darrington said. Darrington works with foster parents in Ohio, but she’s also part of a growing movement at the national level to bring birth parents and foster parents together, two sides of the child welfare system that haven’t always enjoyed working together closely.

US: Making government services more efficient: Introducing the ‘evidence toolkit’ (Press release)

American Enterprise Institute – January 03, 2018

During my 20 years administering government social services programs in New York, I came to believe the day-to-day operations of government safety net programs can lead to less poverty and increased opportunity. Over the years, I have seen countless examples – in New York and across the country – of effective leaders making operational decisions which led to greater employment, less dependency, and stronger families and communities.

US: Parents With Disabilities Face an Uphill Battle to Keep Their Children

Pacific Standard – January 03, 2018

In October, a lawsuit was filed on behalf of five parents with disabilities who had their children removed by New York’s Administration for Children’s Services, alleging widespread discrimination. What happened to these families is not unique or uncommon; rather, their tragic experiences are part of a national phenomenon: Parents with disabilities are disproportionately involved with the child welfare system and once involved are more likely than non-disabled parents to have their parental rights terminated.


Germany: German conservatives call for age tests for underage migrants seeking asylum

Fox News – January 02, 2018

Conservative party allies of German Chancellor Angela Merkel want minors seeking asylum to undergo medical age tests, but the German Medical Association says it could be a violation of ethics. As the country continues to grapple with the flood of migrants accepted by Merkel’s government in 2015 and the repercussions it’s having politically, the debate over verifying the age of unaccompanied minors took on a new urgency after a 15-year-old German girl was fatally stabbed last week by an Afghan migrant who police identified as her ex-boyfriend.


CO: Colorado’s Family Planning Drives Decline in Unintended Pregnancy (Includes audio)

Public News Service (PNS) – January 03, 2018

A Colorado state program that provides free long-acting and reversible contraception has helped reduce the state’s teen birth and abortion rates. Teen pregnancies have been cut by half from 2009 through 2016, and the abortion rate for women aged 15 to 19 has dropped by 64 percent. Comments from Karen Middleton, executive director, NARAL Pro-Choice Colorado.

FL: Children collateral damage in opioid epidemic

News Service of Florida – January 02, 2018

Ciara, now 20, is one of the countless child casualties of an opioid epidemic Florida lawmakers are struggling to curb. With a 35 percent jump in opioid-related deaths in 2016, legislators are considering a variety of options to stop the spread of drug addiction and to keep patients from getting hooked on prescription medicines that can lead to the use of even more lethal street drugs, such as heroin and fentanyl. Policymakers are focusing their attention on drug users, dealers and doctors.

IL: New Law Lays Out Rights Of Blind Parents (Includes audio)

National Public Radio (NPR) Illinois – December 30, 2017

Many blind parents say they have fallen prey to preconceived biases involving their children and their parenting capabilities. A new law in Illinois aims to address these concerns. It points out blindness of a parent can’t be used to determine custody of a child-or be used as a deciding factor in adoption or foster care proceedings. The new law emphasizes these already-established rights under the federal Americans with Disabilities Act.

NH: Among New Hampshire Foster Parents, Concern Over Movement of Children in Care

Chronicle of Social Change – January 02, 2018

Fostering Change: Alliance for NH Foster Parents has been fielding concerns from foster parents since its inception three months ago. The influx of stories surfacing from concerned foster parents indicates that the Division of Children, Youth and Families (DCYF) in New Hampshire is needlessly inflicting trauma on the state’s most vulnerable population by abruptly and unnecessarily moving them to new placements.

NY: ‘Catching a Case: Inequality and Fear in New York City’s Child Welfare System’ (Commentary)

Youth Today – January 02, 2018

Anthropologist Tina Lee immersed herself in the exotic culture of a child welfare agency, its folkways, “clients,” employees and contractors. She has returned with an eye-opening report. New York City’s child welfare system, the subject of “Catching a Case,” is much like child welfare services throughout the U.S. Without saying so directly – for anthropologists do not judge – “Catching a Case” presents a system of people, policies, procedures and processes that frustrates nearly everyone.

NY: What’s Behind the Drop in New York City Foster Care Numbers? More than the Commissioner Chooses to Say (Commentary)

Child Welfare Monitor – January 02, 2018

On December 12, 2017, the New York Daily News published an exclusive story of a dramatic drop in foster care numbers in New York City. New York City’s foster care rolls have been dropping over the past four years as the nationwide caseload increased.

Also: Foster Care Strategic Blueprint Status Report:

OH: 11 Dayton Daily News investigations that shaped 2017 (Includes video)

Dayton Daily News – December 29, 2017

Our I-Team and other reporters at the Dayton Daily News delivered in 2017 investigative journalism that shed a spotlight on community issues and led to change: 1. Since 2009, adults with a history of abuse have killed hundreds of Ohio kids. 3. Should children be allowed to get married? In Ohio, thousands do.

OR: Got a spare bedroom? Give a youth a second chance

Mail Tribune – January 02, 2018

With at least 100 young people statewide in need of foster placement – youth who have completed enough of their program to be eligible for foster care or similar placement for eventual return to society – the lack of homes is discouraging, said Sheila Kelly, state foster home certifier for OYA. OYA’s foster care program is only for youth in OYA custody – teenagers who are working their way toward returning home and youth age 18 to 24 who need help learning independent-living skills.

PA: PHMC completes its takeover of bankrupt Wordsworth Academy

Philadelphia Inquirer – January 02, 2018

Public Health Management Corp., of Philadelphia, completed its acquisition of Wordsworth Academy Inc., another Philadelphia nonprofit that filed for bankruptcy protection in June after the fall 2016 death of a teenager in a struggle with staffers at a Wordsworth residential program.

SC: “Global Citizens Arrest Day” organized by advocates fighting alleged corruption of Family Court, Child Protective Services (Includes video)

WJBF – January 02, 2018

On Wednesday people will peacefully protest Child Protective Services and Family Court by not making any purchases, in an effort to starve the economy. “We are uniting as one voice to stand up to the system and say we aren’t going to take it anymore,” said Melanie Herring, who is participating in Global Citizens Arrest Day. “There are so many children that are missing, dying… that are being sexually abused and we as parents are being prevented from ever protecting them.”

TX: Feds Grant Texas $25 Billion Extension of Medicaid Waiver (Includes audio)

Public News Service (PNS) – January 03, 2018

Federal officials have given Texas a five-year, $25 billion extension on its 1115 Waiver Demonstration program, a decision that allows hospitals and others to provide a low-cost alternative to traditional Medicaid. The program uses a managed-care approach to improve access to and quality of care, and to help pay for uncompensated care. Comments from Stacy Wilson, president, Children’s Hospital Association of Texas.

VA: Celebrating Adoptions In Alexandria

Alexandria News – January 02, 2018

On the Saturday before Thanksgiving, the City marked National Adoption Day at the Alexandria Juvenile and Domestic Relations Court. Families, judges and City staff celebrated the finalization of 14 adoptions over the last year and three additional children whose adoptions will be finalized by the end of this year. National Adoption Day is a collective national effort to raise awareness of the more than 110,000 children in U.S. foster care waiting to find permanent, loving families.

WA: Wilmot Collins to be sworn in as Helena mayor

MTN News – January 02, 2018

Collins, a black Liberian refugee, gained national attention following his win. He arrived in the United States in 1994 during Liberia’s’s civil war. Collins currently works as a child protection specialist for the Montana Department of Health and Human Services. He campaigned on a platform that included increased funding for police and fire and addressing veteran and teen homelessness in the community.

WV: W.Va. Officials Warn Of Increased Cases Of Human Trafficking (Audio)

West Virginia Public Broadcasting – January 03, 2018

Drug addiction in West Virginia may be causing an increase in sex trafficking. Sometimes family members traffic their children. Officials say the problem is under reported – making it tough to fight.

Also: WV to focus on human trafficking awareness in January:

US: Telemedicine Helps Pediatricians Better Identify Mental Illness in Children (Press release)

Rutgers University – January 03, 2018

One in five youths has a diagnosable mental disorder and one in 10 has a mental health challenge that impairs their ability to function, but only 30 percent of youngsters under age 17 receive services. In urban areas, where children are at greater risk for trauma, that number could be even higher. To help children get the proper diagnosis and care, Rutgers University Behavioral Health Care (UBHC) and New Jersey Medical School have partnered with Essex County pediatricians to give training on behavioral health screening and assessment and provide consultation, care coordination and direct service to youths and their families.

US: The Adoption Option (Commentary)

New Mobility – January 03, 2018

I can say adoption is not out of reach for folks with disabilities. But for everyone – wheelchair or not – it is rarely a smooth ride. In many ways, adopting a child is like falling in love. It is exciting. It is frustrating. It is expensive. It can be a beautiful journey, or a trail to heartbreak. (And often you’ll find some of each.) The only thing for certain with adoption is that you will never be the same again. Our adoption journey changed the way I view parents of every type, and it proved that sometimes what you want is not as good as what you get.

Also: Information Gateway resource: For Expectant Parents Considering Adoption and Birth Parents:

US: U.S. Supreme Court sides with Florida’s program protecting child (Includes video)

WTXL – January 03, 2018

Child advocates say a recent U.S. Supreme Court decision upholds the idea that what is in the best interest of a child is the most important factor in contested parental proceedings.

US: Some Big Questions for Child Welfare, Juvenile Justice in 2018 (Commentary)

Chronicle of Social Change – January 02, 2018

Last week, Youth Services Insider reflected on some of the bigger stories in child welfare and juvenile justice for 2017. Now, let’s look ahead. Following are a few things we think will come up in 2018 in child welfare and juvenile justice.


Canada: Jane Philpott doesn’t see ‘eye to eye’ with Manitoba on First Nations child welfare reforms

CBC News – January 03, 2018

Indigenous Services Minister Jane Philpott says she has concerns with Manitoba’s plans to reform its First Nations child welfare system. Specifically, the minister told CBC she believes incentives to encourage non-Indigenous families to adopt First Nations children should be avoided so as not to replicate mistakes of the past.

Canada: Death of Oak Bay sisters can be ‘life-changing event’ for any child protection staffer

CBC News – January 02, 2018

The deaths of Chloe Berry, 6, and her sister Aubrey Berry, 4, can have an huge impact on the social workers and court workers who dealt with the family, says Grant Charles, an associate professor at UBC’s School of Social Work. “It can be a life-changing event for the child protection worker,” he told CBC host of The Early Edition Stephen Quinn. If warning signs were missed and contributed to the girls’ deaths, Charles emphasized, it reveals a systematic problem with child protection services and not any one individual social worker’s mistake.

Canada: Victims Sought: Canada Awards $635 Million to Stolen ‘Sixties Scoop’ Native Children

Indian Country Today – January 02, 2018

After years of trying to fight against the Canadian federal government, Lead claimant Chief Marcia Brown Martel won a massive victory when the court awarded a payout of $800 million Canadian / $635 million American, to about 20,000 victims. Many of the victims had fled to the United States, claimants to this case are being sought today.

India: 51 Girls Rescued from Sexual Exploitation in Muslim Seminary

Christian Broadcast News (CBN) – January 02, 2018

According to reports, police in India’s northern state of Uttar Pradesh, rescued more than 50 young girls from an Islamic seminary after complaints the seminary manager was sexually harassing and beating the girls.


CA: Young, gay and living on the street: LGBT youth face increased odds of homelessness

EdSource – January 01, 2018

Across California and the nation, thousands of LGBT young people can be found on the street, in shelters or couch surfing with friends or relatives, said Schwartz and other experts.

CA: Report: High Stress and Low Pay Are Biggest Concerns for California’s Child Welfare Workforce

Chronicle of Social Change – December 29, 2017

A new report takes a closer look at California’s struggle to recruit and maintain an adequate and diverse child welfare workforce. Among the key takeaways from the latest edition of Insights, published by the California Child Welfare Co-Investment Partnership, is the role public perception plays in job satisfaction and turnover rates among caseworkers with child welfare agencies.

Also: Balancing Head & Heart California’s Child Welfare Workforce:

Information Gateway resource: Workforce:

DC: D.C. youth detention emerges as model of improvement, but struggles persist (Includes audio and video)

USA Today – December 30, 2017

Since D.C. shuttered its old Oak Hill youth detention facility in 2009, and developed a more progressive approach to juvenile justice – one that focuses on keeping kids close to their communities and discards the punitive approach to punishment – it has been lauded as a model for reform. The system has come a long way. Oak Hill was considered one of the worst juvenile detention facilities in the country.

FL: Baker County Sheriff’s Office: Rise in reported child neglect cases ‘good thing’ (Includes video)

News4Jax – December 29, 2017

A rise in reported child neglect cases in Baker County, double what was reported a year ago, is actually a good thing, according to the Baker County Sheriff’s Office. In 2017, the Sheriff’s Office said it worked 12 reported child neglect cases. In 2016, there were five. Sheriff’s Office Maj. Randy Crews said the rise in child neglect cases is a good thing because it reflects the fact that more people are actually reporting the crimes.

Fl: & NY: Two giant child welfare systems effectively admit the obvious: They confuse poverty with “neglect” (Commentary)(Includes video)

NCCPR Child Welfare Blog – December 17, 2017

It’s the biggest single problem in American child welfare – and one that child welfare agencies almost always deny even exists: the widespread needless removal of children when family poverty is confused with child “neglect.”

IL: New state laws affect parents, others (Video)

WAND TV – January 01, 2018

Among those laws: HB 2626, which provides that people who are blind cannot be denied parenting time or participation in adoption or foster care because they are blind.

IN: Our Opinion: Plan must protect both homeless and public

South Bend Tribune – December 31, 2017

The city is trying to create a safe environment in the area while at the same time offering housing for the homeless during winter months. Project WARM, which is operated by volunteers and Hope Ministries in a building the city purchased for them last year, offers up to 30 beds for the homeless. Another 32 new beds of permanent support supportive housing will be made available at the FUSE Center at Kemble and Indiana avenues.

IN: EDITORIAL: Holcomb shows appropriate urgency on DCS front

Northwest Indiana Times – December 29, 2017

Gov. Eric Holcomb is showing encouraging signs he’s willing to do what it takes to improve state services provided to the most vulnerable Hoosiers.

KS: Finding missing kids, changing culture: new Kansas child welfare leader’s busy start (Includes video)

Kansas City Star – December 31, 2017

Locating these missing kids is just one of the challenges she faces as she works to repair the troubled child welfare system she inherited. Gina Meier-Hummel will have the title “acting secretary” until she is confirmed by the Senate.

KY: Former foster care kids find homes thanks to nonprofit

Courier-Journal – December 31, 2017

In January, Pearson plans to move into a new apartment while he works toward a college degree and completes a construction apprenticeship he entered through YouthBuild Louisville, a program that helps young people learn a building trade.

KY: Who will care for Kentucky’s children? (Editorial)

Lexington Herald-Leader – December 29, 2017

Lawmakers in 2017 examined the crisis – that word is no exaggeration – that the opioid epidemic is inflicting on Kentucky’s children. The only problem with ideas recently offered by two legislative committees is that they cost money that Kentucky does not have.

MN: Hope arrives for transitional housing program that serves Native women (Includes audio)

Minnesota Public Radio – December 29, 2017

An endangered transitional housing program that serves Native American women struggling with addiction may be able to remain open. “My understanding is there really is nothing else in the state of Minnesota that’s quite like the Kateri Residence program,” said Gail Dorfman, executive director of St. Stephen’s Human Services. Kateri Residence was started by St. Stephen’s church in 1973 in response to needs church members saw in the neighborhood. “They bought a fourplex over near the church,” Dorfman said. “They called it a halfway house for women and their children, who were homeless and in need of recovery.”

MS: These women are helping the ‘secret homeless’ teens on the Coast with nowhere to go (Includes video)

Sun Herald – December 30, 2017

Many kids look forward to their 18th birthday and leaving for college, but for those who grow up in the foster care system their 18th birthday often is the day they become homeless.

MT: Montana leaders fight drug crisis, spike in foster care but overlook pregnant, addicted women

Missoulian – December 27, 2017

Asked what Montana could do to expand access to drug treatment for pregnant women, many legislators worried what it would cost the state, particularly after a recent drop in revenues triggered several rounds of budget cuts this year. Right now, nearly all drug treatment funding comes from federal sources, except for the state’s growing share of Medicaid costs.

NE: Editorial, 12/30: DHHS report on sex abuse must spur changes

Lincoln Journal Star – December 29, 2017

The indisputable truth is that one case is too many – and that 50 verified reports represent a horrifyingly large population to suffer such abuse while in the state’s care. Even more troubling is that no environment seemed to be a safe haven for these already vulnerable children.

Also: State senator calls for more oversight of child welfare system:

Also: Senator Bolz taking next steps after Child Welfare Report:

OH: Report: More than 20,000 Ohio children projected in foster care by 2020

News-Herald – December 30, 2017

It’s no secret the opioid epidemic has put a strain on children services departments throughout Ohio. Lake County voters should be well aware of the problem. In November they approved an increase in funding for the county’s department. The need for the additional money was largely attributed the increased costs associated with the growing number of children in their care due to the epidemic. Lake County wasn’t alone. It was one of 13 counties with children service levies in the ballot in November. Twelve of those 13 passed. Five of those counties passed either new levies or existing levies with increases.

OK: Oklahomans in need could pay price for Health Dept. crisis

Oklahoma Watch – January 01, 2018

Parent Promise in Oklahoma City is among the nine contractors whose five-year agreements to provide child-abuse prevention services were canceled. The providers were to receive a total of $2 million annually, and their five-year contracts had begun in August. A key component of these organizations’ work is home visits to families whose children are at risk of abuse. They offer guidance in areas such as stress management and child care. Parent Promise has done more than 1,900 home visits to 154 families this year.

OR: Gov. Brown’s year of failures: Guest opinion

Oregonian – December 31, 2017

Hundreds of foster care children have been abused, starved or forced to stay in hotels with unlicensed caretakers. Children in Oregon daycares are at risk too.

OR: Principal disciplined for failing to act on warnings of teacher sexual misconduct wins in court

Oregonian – December 29, 2017

In a case that could have broader implications for how schools respond to educator sexual misconduct, an Oregon appeals court sided with a principal who took no action after employees alerted him a male teacher was spending time alone with a female student he later had move in with him.

PA: Can an Algorithm Tell When Kids Are in Danger?

New York Times – January 02, 2018

In August 2016, Allegheny County became the first jurisdiction in the United States, or anywhere else, to let a predictive-analytics algorithm – the same kind of sophisticated pattern analysis used in credit reports, the automated buying and selling of stocks and the hiring, firing and fielding of baseball players on World Series-winning teams – offer up a second opinion on every incoming call, in hopes of doing a better job of identifying the families most in need of intervention.

PA: Prenatal drug abuse may be child abuse

Lock Haven Express – December 30, 2017

A three-judge panel of the Pennsylvania Superior Court issued a decision Wednesday that a Clinton County woman’s illegal drug abuse during pregnancy “may constitute” child abuse under the state’s Child Protective Services Law (CPSL).

PR: ‘We have a big problem’: Puerto Rico seeks aid for tens of thousands of squatters

Politico – December 31, 2017

For years, squatters were ignored or used as political pawns as the bankrupt central government swung from crisis to crisis. That changed with Maria, which tore through these low-lying barrios with particular ferocity. Now, with no legal claim to their homes or the land they’re built on, squatters find themselves unmoored from federal aid – and high on the government’s list of priorities. Housing has been a chronic problem since long before Maria. More than half of Puerto Rico’s houses are “informal,” a euphemism for illegally constructed. As many as one in five are built on private or government land. Many have been passed down for generations, giving rise to vibrant communities spread across the island’s coastal plains.

RI: DCYF boosts frontline staffing, but budget woes persist (Opinion)

Providence Journal – December 30, 2017

Over the past five months, The Providence Journal has investigated various issues confronting the Department of Children, Youth and Families – from ignored calls to its child-abuse hotline, to slack supervision of group homes, to dubious “safety plans” that allow incompetent parents to take home vulnerable newborns. As the year ends, the department has made improvements in some of those areas, hiring scores of additional frontline social workers, implementing more rigorous standards for abuse investigations, and making a concerted push to recruit more foster parents and rely less on group homes.

TN: Baby University continues to change lives of new parents

Chattanooga Times Free Press – December 31, 2017

“It started with the idea that early childhood is one of the most important investments you can make in our future,” Berke said. “It’s hard to win a race when you start out 10 yards behind everyone else.”

TX: How CPS And The ‘Broken’ Foster Care System Fared In 2017 (Includes audio)

Texas Standard – January 01, 2018

Lawmakers put reforms in place, including a controversial community-based care model. A federal judge’s ruling could affirm those changes, or invalidate them.

VA: Virginia has high percentage of youth aging out of foster care

Fredericksburg Free Lance-Star – December 30, 2017

According to the results of a national survey conducted by Child Trends for the Children’s Home Society of Virginia and Better Housing Coalition, 20 percent of the people who age out of foster care are homeless within two years. Twenty-five percent are incarcerated, 42 percent drop out of school and 71 percent of the women are pregnant by age 21.

WA: How these foster kids are beating the odds: Treehouse program helps teens graduate

Seattle Times – December 29, 2017

“Every time a student gets pulled out of a home to live with strangers, that will impact the ability to study,” said Peggy Carlson, who oversees services for foster kids at the state Office of the Superintendent of Public Instruction.

WI: Number of foster care children in Wisconsin on the rise

Wisconsin State Journal – December 30, 2017

The number of foster care children in Wisconsin reached a 10-year high last year, an issue that will come into sharper focus in the new year as the Legislature takes up 13 bipartisan bills on the topic.

US: The statistics don’t capture the opioid epidemic’s impact on children (Opinion)

STAT – January 02, 2018

Imagine the impact on a child when a parent overdoses at home or in a grocery store. Statistics can’t tally the trauma felt by a seven-year-old who calls 911 to get help for an unconscious parent, or the responsibility undertaken by a twelve-year-old to feed and diaper a toddler sibling, or the impact of school absences and poor grades on a formerly successful high school student.

US: Pregnancy and pot – usafe for kids and policies need to reflect the risks (Opinion)

Hill – December 29, 2017

The recent JAMA report of an increase in marijuana use among pregnant women, raises increasing concerns abou its impact on children’s health in 2018. This comes at a time when non-medical marijuana will be available legally in California and is anticipated to become legal in several other states.


Afghanistan: Some Afghan Children Find an Alternative to Jail – for Now

New York Times – December 30, 2017

On visiting days in the women’s wing of Pul-e-Charki prison in Kabul, Najia Nasim would regularly see a little girl named Dahlia waiting outside her mother’s cell, standing up straight, wearing a small backpack. Inside the backpack were all of the girl’s clothes and a few personal possessions. Ms. Nasim goes to the prison regularly to look for children who are older than 5, and thus eligible to be freed and put in one of her organization’s orphanages. These are children who are in prison only because their mothers are there, with no one else in their family willing or able to take them.

Also: 11-Year-Old Has Spent Her Life in Jail, a Serial Killer as a Cellmate:

Bangladesh: Out of Myanmar, yet no end to the abuse

New York Times – December 31, 2017

All too often, a Rohingya woman is fated to be passed, like chattel, from man to man – father to husband, soldier to sex trafficker – even in the supposed safety of the refugee camp. The mostly stateless Rohingya have been sequestered and preyed upon by Myanmar’s military for years. Human rights groups have long accused the Tatmadaw, as the country’s security forces are known, of regular assault of Rohingya girls and women. (The security forces have been accused of that pattern with women of other ethnic minorities as well.)

United Kingdom: Estimated 20,000 British men interested in sexually abusing children

Guardian – December 29, 2017

Police chief Simon Bailey says even thousands more detectives would not be enough to bring every offender to justice. The police chief in charge of child protection says tens of thousands of British men have shown an interest in sexually abusing children. Simon Bailey said investigators monitoring a single online chatroom in 2017 identified 4,000 men using it from the UK alone.

Also: Police Identify Massive Child Abuse Problem In The UK: