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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


Compilation of information and writing on this page is the hard work of KARA volunteers David Vang, Mike Toronto, Jamar Weston, Adolf Nchanj, Josh Jedlicka and Blaz Zlate,  Callie Benscoter, (student volunteers at Century College) Katie Frake, Boston College, Julie O,



AZ: Former Foster Youth, Placed for More than Decade with Member of Pedophile Ring, Sues State of Arizona

Chronicle of Social Change – February 09, 2018

Sierra Vista is an Army town of about 43,000 residents located 75 miles southeast of Tucson. And for several years, unbeknownst to most of its citizens, it was home to a pedophile ring that preyed on vulnerable children. This week, one of those children, a former foster youth who is now 18, filed a multimillion-dollar lawsuit against Arizona’s child welfare system for failing to protect him from the crime ring.

CA: Harbor-UCLA Medical Center to open county’s first teen psychiatric emergency room

Daily Breeze – February 11, 2018

As suicide rates among teenagers continue to climb, County Harbor-UCLA Medical Center near Carson is preparing to open the first teen psychiatric emergency room in Los Angeles County. Hospital officials say the facility will provide a more welcoming environment and comprehensive treatment for adolescents in need of immediate and short-term mental health assistance.

FL: Manatee coalition tackles foster care epidemic

Southwest Florida Herald-Tribune – February 11, 2018

Manatee and Sarasota counties are the top counties in the state for the rate at which children are removed from their homes, largely due to the rise of opioid addiction.

FL: Using Baker Act On Minors Comes Under Scrutiny

WLRN – February 11, 2018

Between summer 2015 and 2016, kids under the age of 18 in Florida were subjected to an involuntary psychiatric exam 32,000 times – almost a 50 percent increase over five years.

FL: DCF review seeks to ‘get to bottom’ of Hillsborough foster care missteps

Tampa Bay Times – February 09, 2018

The state plans to conduct a “comprehensive review” of Hillsborough County’s foster care system after a child welfare agency lost a $9.2 million contract for leaving children unsupervised. The review will be conducted by the Florida Department of Children and Families, which pays Eckerd Connects about $73 million per year to run the county’s child welfare system.

GA: APD Enforcing Laws Criminalizing, Burdening Homeless People

Atlanta Progressive News – February 10, 2018

For at least the last nine years, the City of Atlanta has continued to arrest people for violating seven laws contained in Chapter 106 (“Offenses and Miscellaneous Provisions”) that have the actual or potential effect of criminalizing homelessness, Atlanta Progressive News has learned.

IA: Iowa adoptees seek access to birth certificates

Iowa State Daily – February 11, 2018

For Michelle Spear, gaining access to her birth certificate is about control. Spear is the founder of the Iowa Adoptee and Family Coalition whose purpose is to give Iowan adoptees access to their original birth certificate which a law has blocked them from doing since 1941.

IA: Majority of Iowans Concerned About State’s Mental Health System, Poll Shows (Video)

WHO TV – February 11, 2018

Approximately three quarters of Iowans believe the state’s mental health system is in crisis.

ID: Report: Children not always represented in protection cases

Post Register – February 11, 2018

“Gaps exist in Idaho’s system of representation for children and youth in child protection cases,” the report found. “We found a portion of children and youth did not have any type of court-appointed representation.” Idaho law requires all children to receive such representation, and OPE found that without it, children are less likely to find permanent placement or to have an effective voice in child protection cases.


IL: Bill that would up penalties for assaulting DCFS workers in Senate committee

Sauk Valley – February 09, 2018

Senate Bill 2272, introduced specifically in the wake of the attack on Pamela Knight, seeks to amend the current law, making it a felony – aggravated battery – punishable by 4 to 15 years in prison if the batterer, using anything other than a firearm, knowingly attacks a DCFS worker who’s performing his or her official duties; batters a worker to prevent the performance of those duties; or batters a worker in retaliation for performing those duties, causing great bodily harm or disfigurement.

IN: Huntingburg Family Suing Child Protective Service Workers

WBIW – February 11, 2018

In the lawsuit filed last week, Lelah and Jade Jerger claim the Indiana Department of Child Services workers ordered their daughter’s blood be drawn to make sure Keppra, a medicine for seizures, was in her system. Jaelah was diagnosed with epilepsy in July 2017 when she was about a year and a half old. Her parents say at the time, she was having as many as 100 seizures a day. Those seizures only got worse when they gave her the drug Keppra. However, the Jerger’s say when they started giving Jaelah Charlotte’s Web, a form of CBD oil, her seizures reduced to just one or two a day.

ME: Maine Voices: Foster parents struggle in imperfect system, but can’t walk away

Portland Press Herald – February 12, 2018

Being a foster parent is not easy. You get a phone call and hours later a child arrives, along with, if funds permit, a $200 Target gift card.

MI: Nassar-inspired bills would expand mandated reporters to coaches, physical therapists

Holland Sentinel – February 11, 2018

The sexual abuse committed by former Michigan State University and USA Gymnastics sports doctor Larry Nassar has inspired bills in the Michigan House to require more school and college employees to be mandated reporters of child abuse or neglect.

Information Gateway resource: Mandated Reporting:

MT: First public meeting of child death review panel offers glimpse of how team may work

Independent Record – February 11, 2018

A state panel that’s been given unprecedented access to dig deep into the deaths of children in Montana’s child protective services system met for the first time last week to develop a road map for its work.

Also: New Montana panel looks into child deaths:

OH: DeWine pushing Big Pharma to pay for opioid problems

Pharmacy Choice – February 11, 2018

LIMA Under Ohio Attorney General Mike DeWine’s direction, the State of Ohio is examining how to best pressure large pharmaceutical companies to take financial responsibility for the social problems caused by the opioid epidemic.

OH: Fueled by opioid epidemic, foster care numbers soar in Ohio

NACo – January 30, 2018

A thousand more Ohio children spent the holidays in foster care this season compared to last year, thanks to the opioid epidemic sweeping the state. That somber news comes from a report released last month by the Public Children Services Association of Ohio, a statewide membership organization for county children services agencies.

OR: Child welfare audit is much more than ‘just politics’: Editorial

Oregonian – February 11, 2018

How many blistering evaluations does it take to illustrate a child welfare program is utterly failing the young people it’s supposed to serve and protect? It should be one. Yet in Oregon, it’s closer to a half dozen. The most recent, an extensive audit by the Secretary of State’s Office, echoed some of the problems that were outlined in earlier critiques, including one dating back to 2002.

Report: Foster Care in Oregon: Chronic management failures and high caseloads jeopardize the safety of some of the state’s most vulnerable children:

OR: Editorial: Foster care crisis demands focused attention in Salem

Bend Bulletin – February 10, 2018

It’s a question of priorities. The thousands of children in Oregon’s foster care system desperately need help, but the eyes of state leaders and most legislators are focused elsewhere.

OR: Oregon Senate passes bill to protect parental rights

KTVZ – February 09, 2018

In the wake of a high-profile Redmond custody fight, the Oregon Senate voted Friday to pass Senate Bill 1526 A, which prohibits the courts and the Oregon Department of Human Services from removing a child from their parents’ care based solely on a parent’s disability.

RI: DCYF looking to recruit more foster families

Newport Daily News – February 10, 2018

The agency says it needs 200 more foster parents, particularly in Newport.

SD: South Dakota’s Federal ICWA Ruling Heads To 8th Circuit Court of Appeals (Includes audio)

South Dakota Public Radio – February 12, 2018

In March 2013, the Rosebud and Oglala Sioux Tribes, as well as tribal parents, brought suit against state officials in Pennington County. They claim the process for handling abuse and neglect cases routinely violates ICWA and due process rights. After two years of litigation, U.S. District Judge Jeffrey Viken found for the plaintiffs and ordered changes in the way emergency placements are handled.

TX: Medical personnel, schools lead sources locally of CPS reports

Times Record News – February 10, 2018

Each year in Wichita County, about 1,900 reports are filed with Child Protective Services based on suspicions of child abuse or neglect. In the past five years, the agency has fielded almost 9,500 reports in Wichita County, according to data on CPS intakes available of the state’s website.

TX: More children die from abuse in Texas than in any other state

Dallas Morning News – February 10, 2018

In 2016, 4-year-old Leiliana Wright was brutally beaten to death while in her mother’s care even after social workers had been warned the Grand Prairie girl was in danger. Her story led to outrage and scrutiny of the state’s child welfare system, but she was far from the only child to die in such a way.

Fatalities: Chapter 4 of Child Maltreatment 2016 Report:

TX: Alarming Amount: Who’s tracking addictive pain meds being prescribed to children (Includes video)

KXAN – February 09, 2018

Allison Benz, executive director of the Texas State Board of Pharmacy, said children may be prescribed opioids for routine procedures, such as treatment of a torn ACL or wisdom teeth removal. It’s what happens afterwards, when a child possibly becomes addicted, that’s an issue.

TX: Alarming trend in unaccompanied children using ride-sharing apps (Includes video)

KPRC – February 09, 2018

Picking kids up after school, dropping them off at the movies or the mall — what used to be typical chores for mom and dad are now being done by total strangers. “The youngest passenger that I know for a fact, because of a conversation I started up with this young lady, she was 14 years old,” said Brandy, an Uber driver who spoke with KPRC 2 anonymously.

TX: Grants for foster care available for Harvey victims (Includes video)

KIII TV – February 09, 2018

Texas Center for Child and Family Studies has announced a massive grant to support recovery and relief efforts for children in foster care impacted by Hurricane Harvey. The nonprofit announced the $800,000 grant for child placement agencies in Harvey damaged areas along the coast.

WV: Thorough vetting of qualify for fostering

Times West Virginian – February 12, 2018

Fosters can have full-time jobs; they can be single individuals; they can be same-sex couples; and they can live with other residents, so long as everyone passes a background check and the foster child has his or her own room. The minimum age to foster is 21 and the maximum age is 65.

Also: West Virginia in great need of foster parents:

US: Harder to bring them home: Advocates worried over barriers to international adoption

Northeast Mississippi Daily Journal – February 11, 2018

The number of U.S. families adopting from other countries has been dropping for more than a decade. In 2005, there were more than 22,000 adoptions by U.S. families from other countries. By 2016, that number dropped to less than 5,400. Advocates are concerned they will drop even further.

US: Buchanan’s bill meant to keep families together becomes law

Southwest Florida Herald Tribune – February 09, 2018

A series of measures put forward by U.S. Rep. Vern Buchanan to help avoid placing children in foster care gained approval this week when they passed as part of a bipartisan budget deal.

US: Don’t believe the hype. The Family First Act is a step backwards for child welfare finance reform (Commentary)

NCCPR Child Welfare Blog – February 09, 2018

The range of prevention services that could be funded under Family Frist was tiny, and there were absurd restrictions on which programs within that range could get federal aid. And instead of limiting group homes and institutions, I argued that the bill was so weak that it actually strengthened them, creating a whole category of institution that would be, in effect, sanctified in federal law.

US: Extreme child abuse: Does rash of recent cases mean it’s on the rise?

Delmarva Now – February 09, 2018

Data from the National Center for Education Statistics shows the percentage of children ages 3 to 5 enrolled in preschool has steadily remained around 50 percent since 2000, with kindergarten enrollment increasing to top 80 percent in 2015. However, that doesn’t mean reports of abuse are on the decline. “We do know that from the last child maltreatment report that came out from the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services earlier this month that there is a reported increase in child abuse for the first time in some time,” Barth said.

US: One Month of Spending, Years of Child Welfare Reform (Commentary)

Chronicle of Social Change – February 09, 2018

The continuing resolution (CR) signed by President Donald Trump this morning funds the government until March 23. But it changed the landscape of federal child welfare funding for the foreseeable future.

Also: Medicaid Work Requirements Will Reduce Low-Income Families’ Access to Care and Worsen Health Outcomes:

US: Our immigration policies are harming children (Commentary)

Hill – February 09, 2018

There are over 16 million people living in “mix-status” households (with at least one undocumented family member) in the United States. This includes almost 6 million U.S. citizen children, like Soleil and Jorge, who have at least one undocumented parent, including those with DACA protections.

US: Senator Hassan Cosponsors Bipartisan Bill to Help Improve Courts’ Handling of Child Welfare Cases (Press release)

U.S. Senator Maggie Hassan – February 09, 2018

“Granite Staters and all Americans depend on a fair and efficient justice system, including courts that can handle child welfare cases with the urgency they require,” Senator Hassan said. “The bipartisan COURTS Act will help ensure that the best interests of children are being met through the Court Improvement Program, and I look forward to working with Senator Cornyn and other colleagues on both sides of the aisle to pass this important legislation.”

US: U.S. budget deals grants $1.5 billion for opioid-addicted babies, families

Reuters – February 09, 2018

A U.S. budget deal adopted by Congress on Friday includes what advocates call a landmark compromise to provide an estimated $1.5 billion over 10 years to try to keep struggling families together, including those with babies born dependent on opioids.


Canada: N.B. premier claims Tories are ‘playing politics’ with child neglect case (Includes video)

CTV Atlantic – February 09, 2018

New Brunswick Premier Bran Gallant is standing by his embattled deputy premier following the release of horrific details of a child neglect case in Saint John. Horsman is under fire for being unaware of the case that has seen the parents plead guilty to child endangerment.

Greece: UN: Refugees Increasingly at Risk of Sexual Violence on Greek Islands

Voice of America – February 09, 2018

An increasing number of refugee women and children are victims of sexual harassment and violence in the overcrowded reception centers on the Greek islands, the U.N. refugee agency says. The risk is greatest on Lesvos and Samos, according to UNHCR, which says some 5,500 people on those islands are living in dire conditions.

United Kingdom: More than 120 charity workers accused of sexual abuse in the last year alone

Independent – February 11, 2018

More than 120 workers from a range of Britain’s leading charities have reportedly been accused of sexual abuse in the past year alone. New figures collated by the charities revealed that Oxfam recorded 87 allegations of sexual misconduct between April 2016 and March 2017, of which 53 were referred to the police, Save the Children had 31, ten of which were referred to the police, and Christian Aid two.

Also: UK threatens to cut off aid cash to charities after Oxfam sex report:

Also: Oxfam set for crisis talks with minister amid sexual abuse claims – Politics live:

Also: Oxfam among charities reeling as 120 workers accused of sexual abuse in last year alone:


CO: Colorado Supreme Court: Foster Parents Lacked Standing to Challenge District Court Denial of Parental Rights Termination

CBA CLE Legal Connection – February 08, 2018

The supreme court concluded that the foster parents in this case did not have a legally protected interest in the outcome of termination proceedings, and that C.R.S. § 19-3-507(5)(a) did not automatically confer standing on them to appeal the juvenile court’s order denying the termination motion, where neither the Department of Social Services nor the GAL sought review of the trial court’s ruling.

Also: Full Colorado Supreme Court Opinion:

FL: Gulf Coast foster agency closes Polk county office

Winter Haven News Chief – February 08, 2018

Gulf Coast, based in Clearwater, has contracted with Heartland since 2003, Heartland CEO Teri Saunders said Thursday. Heartland generally has annual contracts with the providers, and Gulf Coast was contracted through the end of the state fiscal year – June 30. Saunders said Gulf Coast submitted a notice of voluntarily resignation from that contract. The two entities agreed to a 60-day transition period, closing the contract at the end of March.

IL: DCFS worker beaten while taking child into protective custody last year has died, officials say (Includes video)

Chicago Tribune – February 09, 2018

AFSCME Council 31, the union that represents DCFS workers, called for a review of agency policies and more adequate staffing levels after Knight’s attack. Illinois lawmakers also responded by creating a bill that would stiffen the penalties for offenders who batter DCFS investigators, though it has yet to become law.

IN: Family sues state agency over investigation of their use of CBD oil

WTHR – February 09, 2018

Jaelah Jerger suffers from myoclonic seizures. Her mother, Lelah, helps provide for her care. The family treats Jaelah with cannabidiol, or CBD oil, and say a hospital staffer reported them to Child Protective Services over it. Lelah asserts CPS violated the family’s rights when they sought blood samples from Jaelah to prove she was taking a medication containing CBD.

MD: Md. child abuse bills aim for more accountability, welfare checks after threats

WTOP – February 09, 2018

Two bills stemming from recent cases of child abuse in Maryland are making their way through the state legislature, which would hold mandatory reporters – those who have to report suspected child abuse by law – accountable when it comes to preserving and protecting children.

MI: Nassar-related bills would make coaches, trainers mandatory reporters of sexual abuse

Michigan Live – February 08, 2018

K-12 and collegiate coaches and trainers would be mandatory reporters of sexual abuse under state House legislation inspired by the ongoing scandal surrounding ex-Michigan State University doctor Larry Nassar.

NC: Durham child welfare workers face case overload. Here’s how the county plans to help

Durham Herald-Sun – February 08, 2018

Durham’s Department of Social Services will be getting more positions to help lower caseloads of social workers in its Child Welfare Division.

Information Gateway resource: Workforce:

TX: Child Abuse Deaths In Texas Increased 30 Percent In One Year (Includes audio)

Texas Standard – February 08, 2018

Troubling new statistics out from the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services released last week show fatalities from child abuse and neglect are up nationwide for fiscal year 2016. And deaths in Texas accounted for the biggest increase. Child abuse deaths in the state were up to 217, from 162 the previous year.

US: DeGette: DHS Has No Right or Reason to Separate Families (Press release)

Office of Congresswoman Diana Degette – February 08, 2018

Today Congresswoman Diana DeGette (D-CO), Chief Deputy Whip, joined 74 Democratic House members in sending a letter to Homeland Security Secretary Kirstjen Nielsen expressing profound concern with the Department of Homeland Security’s practice of separating immigrant families, both in the United States and at the border. Numerous studies and stories have shown this practice traumatizes those seeking humanitarian relief and limits their ability to lawfully pursue legal relief.

US: Fast Tracked Federal Overhaul of Child Welfare Financing Gets Mixed Reactions (Commentary)

Chronicle of Social Change – February 08, 2018

There has been talk since last summer about the potential for a reintroduction of the Family First Act. But the inclusion of the bill in both the Senate and House iterations of a continuing resolution took many in the child welfare community by surprise this week and has set up a rather silent, last-minute policy battle between the bill’s champions and opponents working to remove it from the temporary spending plans.

Also: Family First Act Would Harm California’s Foster Care Reforms, Groups Say:

Also: Arizona in Favor of Family First Prevention Services Act:

US: GAO report: States need U.S. help to protect infants affected by opioids, other drugs

Thomson Reuters Foundation – February 08, 2018

State agencies remain confused about a federal law requiring them to report drug-affected infants to child protective services – not to punish mothers but to help families and ensure the child’s safety, the GAO says. Thirty-eight states said more guidance would be “extremely to very helpful,” according to the report.

Also: GAO Report: Substance-Affected Infants: Additional Guidance Would Help States Better Implement Protections for Children:

US: House Oversight Committee launches investigations into USA Gymnastics, USOC

Yahoo – February 08, 2018

The House Oversight and Government Reform Committee announced Thursday it has launched an investigation into multiple entities, including the U.S. Olympic Committee and USA Gymnastics, in the fallout from the Larry Nassar scandal.

Also: Committee Opens Investigation into Sexual Abuse within USA Gymanastics (Press release):

Also: USOC chairman: “The Olympic system failed” sexually abused athletes:

US: One man’s plan to fight sexual assault: Have the victims band together (Commentary)

Washington Post – February 08, 2018

We saw it with the Catholic Church, USA Gymnastics, Penn State and thousands of other cases. Parents, priests, coaches who couldn’t believe such horrific allegations, so they managed to dismiss them. But that night at the fire pit, the boys were heard. And for years, Soscia kept thinking: How could he make certain other victims were heard?

US: What We Must Do to End Child Sexual Abuse in Organizations (Commentary)

Psychology Today – February 08, 2018

We must demand that organizations that serve our youth implement effective prevention programs and policies like limiting one-on-one adult-child situations, requiring the presence of a second adult during physical exams of children and placing windows in interior doors to make one-on-one situations easier to observe and interrupt. But most importantly, more government support is needed to develop, test and disseminate effective prevention strategies.

US: Congress just funded CHIP for a full decade

VOX – February 07, 2018

It is a remarkable turnaround after CHIP, which covers 9 million children, endured an unprecedented four-month lapse in long-term funding and became a pawn in the bitterly partisan government shutdown fight last month. It’s not the permanent CHIP extension that some advocates were hoping for, which would eliminate the possibility of any future crises. But it is still a stunning reversal of the program’s fortunes.

US: The rise of ‘haircut shaming’ and why the punishment doesn’t work (Commentary) (Includes video)

Yahoo – February 07, 2018

Unlike taking away a gadget or privileges, cutting hair as punishment affects a child’s autonomy over his or her physical body, potentially damaging a crucial developmental stage, and it could also blur the concept of consent. Research shows that teens whose parents who use “psychological control” (employing guilt trips or otherwise creating anxiety) as punishment are more prone to peer-pressure.

US: Battling the Cover-Up Culture of Child Sexual Abuse in Schools

Policy & Practice – February 01, 2018

Too many schools are failing in their responsibility to keep children safe from sexual abuse. The doctrine of in loco parentis demands that schools assume the responsibility of the parent to keep a child safe at school. Often, instead of protecting children, schools have been covering up sexual abuse of children by teachers, failing to investigate and report alleged abuse, and allowing teachers to silently leave.

US: Legal Perspectives of “Sexual Addiction”

Policy & Practice – February 01, 2018

We are likely to hear the term “addiction” on a daily basis. In its technical sense it refers to someone who, to their detriment, compulsively uses alcohol, nicotine, certain drugs, has an impulse control disorder such as gambling, kleptomania (compulsive stealing), pyromania (compulsive setting of fires), or exhibits other compulsive behaviors. There is considerable dispute in the professional health and mental communities as to whether “sexual addiction” is a bona fide addiction.


India: Supreme Court instructs states to set up child welfare boards, asks HC chief justices to monitor it

Scroll – February 09, 2018

The Supreme Court on Friday directed all state governments to set up child welfare boards and juvenile courts. The court told chief justices of High Courts to take cognisance of the matter on their own and get this directive implemented in a time-bound manner, according to India Legal.


CA: Post-Partum Depression: A Clinical, Not Legal, Issue: California case has experts calling for better provider education

MedPage Today – February 07, 2018

A nurse who called law enforcement on a patient out of concern that she could harm her newborn infant could be a sign of a wider problem related to provider education about post-partum depression, experts said. While the patient’s point of view has been widely reported, healthcare professionals said it’s very likely that the nurse lacked the resources about how to best approach this situation.

FL: Hillsborough foster agency leaves girl outside hungry and crying, loses $9.2 million contract

Tampa Bay Times – February 07, 2018

A foster care agency has lost a $9.2 million contract and been reported to the state’s abuse hotline after reports that its staff left foster children unsupervised. Eckerd Connects, the lead child welfare agency in Tampa Bay, said Tuesday that it is terminating its contract with Youth and Family Alternatives to provide case management for foster children in Hillsborough County.

GA: & TN: As opioid crisis grows, so does number of kids in foster care around Chattanooga Area (Includes video)

WTVCF – February 06, 2018

A NewsChannel 9 investigation shows the opioid crisis is splitting innocent kids from their families. State officials say drug addiction is pushing more children into an already crowded foster care system.

IN: Who speaks for the children? State’s most innocent victims keep getting left behind (Commentary)

Greenfield Daily Reporter – February 07, 2018

Bonaventura, a former juvenile court judge appointed director of DCS by Republican Gov. Mike Pence, wrote Holcomb, also a Republican, that Indiana children’s lives were at risk because the DCS wasn’t being run the right way. She said the lines of authority in the DCS had been blurred, if not eradicated, because the governor’s office had foisted a political appointee on the agency as chief of staff who undermined the director’s authority and cared more about cutting costs than protecting children.

KS: Colyer Calls For Kansas School Funding Hike, Plus Medicaid And Foster Fixes (Includes audio)

KCUR – February 07, 2018

On the state’s foster care system, which is struggling to offer refuge for children from troubled families, he pledged to hire more child welfare workers and investigators and add emergency placement options.

Also: Governor Jeff Colyer’s Joint Address:

Also: Colyer’s Joint Address Outlines Lofty Goals (Opinion):

MA: Family of Murdered Brockton Boys Reported to DCF At Least Twice (Includes video)

NECN – February 07, 2018

The family of two boys murdered Sunday in their Brockton home had been reported to the Massachusetts Department of Children and Families at least twice during episodes of domestic violence in 2014, according to Brockton police reports from that time.

NC: Critics say North Carolina’s foster care system fails kids – what’s being done about it

WSOC – February 07, 2018

Concerns about North Carolina’s foster care system are validated by the latest U.S. Health and Human Services report on the state. It shows the turnover rate for social workers is rising at an alarming rate. Between 2013 and 2014, it jumped from 23 to 28 percent. For the ones who stay, cases pile up. The report also found North Carolina Department of Social Services Department lacks consistency. Training, standards, and resources are different in each county.

NE: More training for Nebraska foster parents could help prevent sex abuse, lawmaker says

Lincoln Journal Star – February 07, 2018

A recent report on sexual abuse of state wards in Nebraska’s child welfare system has prompted a Lincoln senator to propose better training for foster parents. The training would be aimed at teaching those parents how to prevent and react to sexual abuse of children and young people, and relatives who serve as caregivers would not be allowed to opt out.

NJ: Murphy Urged to Undo One Christie Health Reform, Aggressively Monitor Others

NJ Spotlight – February 08, 2018

The new team in Trenton should aggressively monitor some human services program reforms initiated under the former Christie administration while reversing parts of others, a panel of experts has recommended. It has also advised the new administration to create a tax credit to help low-income parents and to invest at least $62 million to boost pay for front-line workers and improve access to childcare.

Also: Report of the Human and Children Services Transition Advisory Committee:

NM: Albuquerque man at Olympics to promote adoption

KOB4 – February 07, 2018

A New Mexico man is halfway around the world after accepting a special invite to the Winter Olympics.Not only is Jon Parshall gearing up to cheer on Team USA, but he’s there supporting a bigger cause…as the athletes battle for gold, he and a group of 20 others are fighting a battle for Korean orphans. That’s after the country has tightened restrictions on overseas adoptions, limiting chances for children to be placed in families.

NY: Legislation would improve notification in child abuse situations

Daily News – February 07, 2018

A bill which to improve notifications in child abuse situations has been approved by the state Senate’s Standing Committee on Children and Families. The bill – if it receives final approval from the state Senate, Assembly and Gov. Andrew Cuomo would require the state to notify local child protective services if the operator of a licensed day care center or similar facility is the subject of an allegation of child abuse or maltreatment.

NY: Opioid epidemic increases need for foster care funding (Commentary)

Times Union – February 07, 2018

In his State of the County address, Albany County Executive Daniel McCoy highlighted a shocking trend: The county has seen a 23 percent increase over the last four years in the number of children entering foster care due to parental substance use, mental health issues or domestic violence.

OR: Prediction: In this short legislative session, all the shortcomings of a short session will be compounded by politics. (Opinion)

Bend Source – February 08, 2018

Buehler says he’ll add language to an existing bill this session, requesting $50 million to fund a “rapid improvement team” to address issues within the child welfare system. A report from Oregon Secretary of State Dennis Richardson, issued last month, alleges the system has a culture of bullying and intimidation.

OR: Oregon’s scathing child welfare audit is no surprise for foster parents: Guest opinion

Oregonian – February 07, 2018

The results of the Oregon foster-care system audit are in, and they are more horrific than anyone could imagine – unless you work in or with foster care. For those of us who have seen firsthand the staff turnover, low morale and nonexistent support for foster parents, the audit serves as recognition, finally, of the dire circumstances our most vulnerable population must contend with if they seek state intervention and protection.

PA: KDKA Investigates: Allegheny Co.’s New High-Tech Tool Helping To Protect Children (Includes video)

KDKA – February 07, 2018

Most of us wouldn’t want their job. The CYF Call Screeners are part of a process that could mean life or death for a child. “You know, the safety of children, so you definitely want to make the best decision you can,” said Jessie Schem, a screener supervisor. But for lots of reasons, that doesn’t always happen.

PA: Angela Liddle from Pennsylvania Family Support alliance visits the ABC 27 studio (Video)

WHTM – January 27, 2018

There are people all across the midstate encouraging everyone to speak up if they see child abuse. PA Family Support Alliance has teamed up with PSECU to open nominations for the PA Blue Ribbon Champions for Safe Kids awards.

VA: Rockbridge social services director takes new job in Alleghany County

Roanoke Times – February 07, 2018

The Rockbridge Area Department of Social Services director is leaving after 14 months on the job. Suzanne Adcock has accepted a position as the director of finance in Alleghany County, where she lives and previously served on the board of supervisors. The announcement comes amid a Virginia Department of Social Services investigation into the local board. It’s the third investigation into the Rockbridge area department in three years.

WV: Opioids impacting West Virginia’s foster care system (Includes video)

WSAZ – February 07, 2018

Of the six states where Pressley Ridge serves children and families, West Virginia has the largest amount of opioid-related cases. The nonprofit works to create stronger families through a multitude of services, including foster care and case management for children and families affected by opioid addictions.

US: Child abuse is not inevitable, but preventable – local policy changes prove that (Opinion)

Hill – February 07, 2018

When the federal Commission to Eliminate Child Abuse and Neglect Fatalities (CECANF) began its effort to develop a national strategy to eliminate child maltreatment fatalities, we knew the challenging task we were facing. Few, if any, evidence-based interventions existed that were shown to prevent fatalities and neglect. However, despite these challenges, at the conclusion of our two years of research, study, review and deliberations, we were able to identify a framework for reform and a new vision for a 21st century child welfare system. The question we ask ourselves today is: What, if anything, has changed since the commission issued its findings and recommendations?

Also: Report: Within Our Reach: A National Strategy to Eliminate Child Abuse and Neglect Fatalities:

US: Driving Pay for Success as a Vehicle for Systems Change | Why We Invested: Social Finance (Commentary)

Omidyar Network – February 07, 2018

Across the United States, government-funded social service programs are critical in serving many of our most vulnerable populations. And innovative nonprofits delivering these services can have transformative impact on people’s lives. These nonprofits are among a cadre of leading social service providers that are delivering innovative interventions backed by evidence of results. And they have all partnered with Social Finance US, along with state and local governments, as early pioneers of Pay for Success (PFS) financing. And in so doing, they have joined a movement that is seeking to shift how we finance and deliver social services to be more outcomes-driven.

Also: Information Gateway Resource: Evidence-Based Practice:

US: Rep. Neal Issues Statement on Treat Opioid Abuse, Dependence in Medicare Hearing (Press release)

Office of U.S. Congressman for Massachusetts Richard Neal – February 07, 2018

Rep. Richard Neal, D-Massachusetts, ranking Democratic member of the House Ways and Means Committee, issued the following statement during a subcommittee hearing entitled “Removing Barriers to Prevent and Treat Opioid Abuse and Dependence in Medicare”: “I am pleased we are holding a hearing to identify solutions to address opioid abuse and dependence specifically in the Medicare space. Although overdose rates are highest for people 25 to 54, this public health emergency also affects Medicare beneficiaries.

US: The Family First Act: A Bad Bill that Won’t Go Away (Commentary)

Child Welfare Monitor – February 07, 2018

Chapter I of the Act, billed as “Investing in Prevention and Family Services,” would allow Title IV-E funds to be used to fund services meant to keep children out of foster care, including mental health and substance abuse treatment, parent training and counseling, and kinship navigator programs. But the bill limits the list of services funded to mental health, substance abuse treatment, and parent education and training. It does not include services like domestic violence prevention, peer mentoring or support groups, crisis intervention, housing assistance, and many others that could be crucial to keeping families together.


Haiti: At Haitian-Dominican border, shelter protects children vulnerable to human trafficking

Global Sisters Report – February 05, 2018

Prospélanda’s story illustrates the dangers of trafficking and why the issue of human trafficking is so potent to sisters around the world and others within the Catholic humanitarian networks who work with them. “It’s very, very real, this problem of trafficking,” said Michel Edouard Alcimé, deputy director for Jesuit Refugee Service in Ouanaminthe.

International: Child rape by tourists: UNWTO’s surprise at ITB Berlin may not be without victims

eTurbo News (ETN) – February 08, 2018

The activities of the World Tourism Network on Child Protection are co-ordinated by the United Nations World Tourism Organization (UNWTO) Secretariat and monitored by an Executive Committee established in November 2000. At least members of this executive committee thought this was the case.

Syria: 2018 Whole of Syria Child Protection Operational Strategy

Relief Web – February 08, 2018

In its seventh year, the conflict in Syria continues to take a huge toll on the lives of children. Against a backdrop of violence, continuous displacements and worsening socio-economic conditions, children in Syria endure multiple protection risks and violations of their rights on a daily basis.

United Nations Report:


CO: Colorado Court of Appeals: Written Advisement Form Does Not Satisfy ICWA Notice Requirements

Legal Connection – February 06, 2018

The Department contended that mother’s signing of a written advisement of her rights, which included a question about the ICWA, served as the court’s initial inquiry. The inquiry should be made on the record. Regardless, the Court of Appeals found that the Department failed to send notice to the appropriate tribes when mother identified a reason to believe the children were Indian children.

CO: How it works: Moffat County Department of Human Services Part 2 – Child Support Services

Craig Press – February 06, 2018

While each person could hold their own personal definition about abuse, it is outlined in C.R.S. 19-1-103 that states, in part “… a child exhibits evidence of skin bruising, bleeding, malnutrition, failure to thrive, burns, fracture of any bone, subdural hematoma, soft tissue swelling or death and either: such condition or death is not justifiably explained … the child is subjected to unlawful sexual behavior … emotional abuse …”

IN: Our Opinion: Looking for answers at DCS

South Bend Tribune – February 06, 2018

Hoosiers concerned about the warning signs at the Department of Child Services won’t be reassured by the first report from the consultant charged with assessing the agency.

IN: State’s children suffering from opioid epidemic

Associated Press – February 06, 2018

The opioid epidemic is expanding in Indiana, driving more children into foster care, and increasing the cases of abuse and neglect, according to a new analysis.

Also: DCS consultant notes high number of children in system:

KY: Aid foster children, workers and family who care for them (Commentary)

Lexington Herald-Leader – February 06, 2018

Far too many children are in unstable and sometimes abusive homes. At the same time, we now have over 8,600 children in our foster-care system. It is going to take a collaborative effort to address these problems. It is also going to require funding. That is why Gov. Matt Bevin’s budget allocates money in three key areas relating to Kentucky families.

KY: New program asks people to open doors to homeless young adults (Includes video)

WAVE 3 – February 06, 2018

Louisville is known as a compassionate city, so how compassionate are you? Would you open your home up to someone who needs help? A local organization that helps the homeless in the community is hoping so.

MS: Child Protective Services talked to his kids without his permission. Can they do that?

Sun Herald – February 06, 2018

With more than 27,000 cases of child negligence reported in the state in 2017, more parents and guardians may find themselves in situations similar to that of Luster – wondering if the rights of their children had been violated during a one-on-one interview. The answer, according to CPS, is no.

MS: If you suspect child abuse and want to report it; There’s an app for that (Includes video)

Mississippi News Now – February 06, 2018

The Mississippi Department of Child Protection Services is going high-tech.The new “Report Abuse” app puts the power in the palm of your hand, to report suspected child abuse or neglect and help Mississippi children get the care they need.

Also: New App Allows Faster Child Abuse Reporting:

Information Gateway resource: Reporting Child Abuse and Neglect:

NC: Advocates Working to Open Shelter for Homeless Students

Pilot – February 06, 2018

Moore County Schools high school social workers see them every day: students working to earn a diploma while effectively fending for themselves outside of school. Those students may not actually be living on the streets, but whether they’ve aged out of foster care, their parents are in jail, or they’ve fled from a dysfunctional or abusive family, about 70 Moore County public school students are not living with a parent or legal guardian.

NH: Homeschooling oversight debate revived in N.H.

Concord Monitor – February 07, 2018

parents and children made their presence known last month, swarming the State House in the hundreds to protest a piece of legislation – House Bill 1263 – aimed at returning some oversight to the largely unregulated field. Sitting in a hallway at the Brookside Church last week, three home-schooling mothers discussed the bill. Only one, Cristina Drondoe of Bedford – who founded the home-schooling enrichment program Mosaic Explore, which rents space at the church – attended the bill’s hearing. But all three agreed: They don’t want to start submitting annual evaluations of their children’s progress over to a third party.

NM: CYFD pushes for action on child welfare bills (Includes video)

KOB 4 – February 06, 2018

With less than two weeks left in the 2018 legislative session, the Children Youth and Families Department says they aren’t sure if bills aimed at creating harsher penalties for child abusers will even make it up for a vote.

NY: Can Big Data Help Save Abused Kids? (Commentary)

American Enterprise Institute – February 06, 2018

In the area of child welfare in particular, proponents are enthusiastic about the prospect of getting better information about children at risk. There is so much we don’t, and can’t, know about what goes on inside of families that child welfare workers are largely flying blind. But big data has the potential to tell the likelihood that a child will be subject to neglect, abuse-or worse.

OH: As opioid crisis grows, so does number of kids in foster care around Chattanooga Valley (Includes video)

News Channel 9 – February 06, 2018

“We don’t keep a direct keep statistics on what drugs our parents are addicted to, but from talking to our staff, we know that it’s opioids,” he said. Numbers from the state show in the last four years, the number of kids in their care has gone up more than 44 percent. At this very moment, more than 14,000 little faces are in foster homes.

OR: Democrats in the Oregon Legislature say there’s no quick fix for child welfare problems

Oregonian – February 06, 2018

Senate Democrats point to a $30 million budget boost they approved last year in part to increase foster parents’ pay. Democrat legislators also said their prodding of agency bureaucrats in recent years, including in embarrassing public hearings, helped spur some recent improvements at the child welfare program.

Also: Lawmakers wrangle foster care system changes, improvements:

Also: Fixing Oregon’s child welfare system won’t happen overnight:

Also: Buehler wants $50 million to help fix Oregon foster care:

Also: Oregon mandatory reporting bill gets traction, age amendment brings controversy (Includes video):

OR: Our View: We can’t keep failing the most vulnerable

Blue Mountain Eagle – February 06, 2018

A scathing audit conducted by the Secretary of State’s Office makes that clear. Caseworkers are overworked and exhausted, foster families are in short supply and children suffer.


TX: Heart to Heart: Adopting through CPS much cheaper than private agencies

Big Country – February 06, 2018

Many people have a misconception on the price of adopting, however, let it be known that adopting through is actually a lot cheaper than adopting through a private agency. The Texas Department of Family Services (DFPS) states that, 215 children are waiting to be adopted, here in the region two. This is based off of fiscal year of 2016-2017 ending on August 31. “A lot of people get very intimidated. They think that adoption costs a lot but they’re usually talking about private adoption,” Amy Elizondo said, who is an adoption negotiator for the DFPS.

WI: Gov. Scott Walker issues executive orders aimed at further combating opioid epidemic

Badger Herald – February 06, 2018

Walker ordered the Department of Health Services to apply for a federal grant to develop an application that tracks treatment capacity for substance abuse services. He also wants the department to work with the Department of Corrections to better facilitate the care for offenders re-entering society after their prison term ends by developing offender-only service units with contracted managed care organizations within BadgerCare. The executive order also requires the Wisconsin Department of Children and Families to updates its services standards and software program to better document and track substance abuse issues arising in child welfare cases.

WI: Bill Promises Wisconsin Foster Kids Free College Tuition

Associated Press – January 29, 2018

A bipartisan group of Wisconsin legislators has proposed waiving tuition and fees for foster children attending University of Wisconsin schools and state technical colleges, saying the children lack a permanent family when they age out of the foster system and need help to succeed.

US: Trump’s Uplifting ‘Baby Hope’ Story Masks A Dark History (Opinion)

Huffington Post – February 07, 2018

As Trump told the story, when Officer Holets looked at Champ and Key, he didn’t see a family in crisis and in need of assistance. Instead, he saw a woman failing to take care of her unborn child, and he saw his new daughter. And so in this anecdote, he didn’t offer Champ and Key drug rehab, or medical care, or shelter, or money, or parenting classes, or even short-term foster care. He just showed them a photo of his family and urged them to give him their child to raise as his own, forever. (And if other kinds of help actually were offered then or later, the president didn’t think it worth noting.)

US: House Funding Plan Does Not Include Lifeline for Federal Home Visiting Program (Commentary)

Chronicle of Social Change – February 06, 2018

The House continuing resolution (CR) to fund the government through March 23 does not include any short-term or long-term extension of the Maternal, Infant and Early Childhood Home Visiting (MIECHV) program, which funds states to place professionals with new and expecting mothers.

US: Tobin: US bishops should only support clean DACA bill, fears mass deportations

Crux – February 06, 2018

Cardinal Joseph Tobin of Newark, New Jersey is urging his fellow U.S. bishops to hold out for a clean DACA bill, rather than settle for a compromise that includes funding for the border wall. “I’m very concerned, and I don’t think I’m being hysterical, that if you look at the budget proposals, the administration’s preparing for a mass deportation,” said Tobin. “I think if we accept a deal uncritically, and that’s all we get, we may be actually establishing a foundation that will result in greater harm.”

US: Why child abuse like the Turpin family horrors is so hard to prevent or halt

Los Angeles Times – February 06, 2018

Political leaders responded to each crime with policy changes of one sort or another. In some instances, they hired more caseworkers or increased penalties for child abuse. They publicized hotlines to call when someone suspected abuse. Something had gone wrong inside our child welfare bureaucracy – between the moment a report of abuse was made and the time a caseworker decided not to remove a child from his or her home. The changes had limited, if any, effect on the overall success of the systems.


Philippines: DSWD warns of illegal adoptions facilitated through social media

GMA Network – February 06, 2018

As part of the observance of the “2018 Adoption Consciousness Celebration”, DSWD officer-in-charge Emmanuel Leyco released a statement in which he explained that these illegal adoptions were “tantamount to child trafficking.” Leyco emphasized that these adoptions endangered “the lives of children and adopted parents.”


AR: Appropriation bills filed (Legislative Reports)

Northeast Arkansas Town-Crier – February 06, 2018

The proposal for DHS includes increases for Medicaid and funding for 65 new child welfare case workers.

CA: Report: California is failing its children

Victorville Daily Press – February 05, 2018

An eye-opening report by Children Now reveals that nearly two-thirds of California babies are born into low-income households. The Golden State is falling short in supporting the healthy development of the nearly 9 million children who live in the state, according to the 2018 California Children’s Report Card that was released by the nonprofit group.

Report: 2018 California Children’s Report Card:

GA: Rep. Bert Reeves’ adoption bill passes Senate, heads to governor’s desk

Marietta Daily Journal – February 05, 2018

The bill is designed to modernize the state’s adoption laws, something that has not happened in over 30 years. Georgia has 13,000 foster care children, Reeves has said, and the time spent adopting a child in foster care in Georgia is two and a half times the length of the national average.

HI: Hawaii bill would tighten state oversight on home schooling

Associated Press – February 06, 2018

Some Hawaii lawmakers are calling for more state oversight of families who home school their children.

Also: In wake of high-profile child deaths, lawmakers eye greater home schooling oversight (Includes video):

IN: 2018 Kids Count data for Indiana (Includes video)

WHAS – February 05, 2018

Drug abuse, especially with opioids, continues to drive up child abuse and neglect rates in Indiana.

Report: 2018 Indiana Kids Count Data Book:

Also: 2018 Indiana KIDS COUNT Data released (Includes video):

MA: Our Opinion: Child welfare legal fees need to be increased

Berkshire Eagle – February 05, 2018

The state is indeed fortunate that there are attorneys who are willing to involve themselves in this most tough, tangled and non-remunerative of legal specialties out of passion, and if such caring people did not exist, the shortage would probably be much worse than it is. That is all the more reason why the House (and Senate, in earlier legislation) – which should be applauded for addressing the issue at all – needs to acknowledge that there are few matters more deserving of state interest and the expenditure of its tax dollars than the welfare of its children who face dangerous domestic situations.

Information Gateway resource: Client Rights:,531243

MO: Lawmakers question whether foster system should speed search for biological parents

Columbia Missourian – February 06, 2018

House Bill 2027 would excuse the children’s division of Missouri’s Department of Social Services from a search for a child’s biological parent or parents after the child has been in the system for 60 days if certain conditions are met.

OH: Counties seek family members to care for kids of addicted parents

Columbus Dispatch – February 04, 2018

As Ohio’s drug-addiction crisis continues, the state is trying new approaches to help the children caught up in it. The problem is that more than 15,500 children were in county custody statewide last year, including some who had watched their parents overdose or die. But there are only 7,200 foster homes, according to a report issued in December by the Public Children Services Association of Ohio.

OR: Lawmakers wrangle foster care system changes, improvements

Madras Pioneer – February 05, 2018

While many lawmakers say they’re heartened by recent leadership changes at the Department of Human Services, there are some differing opinions about how the Legislature can remedy the myriad problems in the state foster care system.

OR: State records reveal physical child abuse reports went up 20 percent in fiscal year 2016 (Includes video)

KPTV – February 05, 2018

The Department of Human Services Child Welfare 2016 Report claims there were 11,843 unduplicated child abuse and neglect victims in Oregon, and in 94 percent of those cases the perpetrators were family members.

PA: York County DA mulls new charges after shaken baby dies 23 years later

York Dispatch – February 05, 2018

One of the 27 York County homicides recorded last year – the highest number in 10 years – was a young man at the center of a notorious shaken baby case. The District Attorney’s Office is now considering if it will bring additional charges against Carson McCord’s father.

TX: San Antonio Councilwoman launches Promotoras Child Abuse Prevention Pilot Program (Press release)

Crossroads Today – February 05, 2018

With the help of the Alamo Community Colleges’ Westside Education and Training Center, a work-force training model known as the Child Abuse Prevention Community Health Workers (Promotoras) will train persons from the affected community. Candidates identified to fill such positions would undergo rigorous training on the Family Services Association’s established proven curricula the” Parents as Teachers: Born to Learn curriculum to enhance parenting skills and the Caring for My Family curriculum to improve relationship skills and promote strong families as the best environment for children.

TX: Second WFISD principal charged with failing to report abuse

Times Record News – February 05, 2018

A second Wichita Falls ISD principal has been arrested and charged with failing to report an alleged sexual assault that reportedly happened on her campus.

WA: Statewide Expansion for Washington Program to Boost Graduation Rates of Foster Youth

Chronicle of Social Change – February 05, 2018

Seattle-based nonprofit Treehouse is planning to scale up its program to boost the high school graduation rates of foster youth in Washington over the next five years.

WI: Taking a look at foster care picture in Kenosha County

Kenosha News – February 04, 2018

According to the Kenosha County Division on Children and Family Services, in 2016, an average of 180 children were living in foster care homes on a daily basis, an 18 percent increase over 2015. Last year, the number had grown to 198.

WV: West Virginia governor takes new approach to opioid epidemic

Associated Press – February 05, 2018

Although there have been stepped-up efforts in recent years by law enforcement to catch and punish opioid dealers, the state’s dilemma goes far beyond those using drugs. For instance, 83 percent of children in foster care are there because of the drug problem, said Bill Crouch, Cabinet secretary of the Department of Health and Human Resources.

US: Notre Dame athletic director advised USA Gymnastics on sex abuse policy (Includes video)

Indianapolis Star – February 05, 2018

Two former USA Gymnastics presidents have cited a longtime power player in Indiana sports as one of the key people involved in advising USA Gymnastics on policies related to sexual abuse: Notre Dame athletic director Jack Swarbrick.

US: Twelve Senators Demand Answers for Systemic Failure to Enter Court-Martials and Criminal Convictions into the Federal Background Check System (Press release)

Office of U.S. Senator Richard Blumenthal – February 05, 2018

In their letter, the Senators highlighted the example of a servicemember who was permitted access to a gun – with tragic consequences – after being sentenced to serve four years in a military prison and another who was approved to serve as a foster parent even after being convicted of running a prostitution ring while serving in the military. In both cases, a court-martial conviction was reported to the FBI, but was not incorporated into the background check database.

US: Elizabeth Tippett: What employers can do to stop the next Larry Nassar (Commentary)

Savannah Morning News – February 03, 2018

For years, employers like Michigan State have failed to recognize the critical role they play in protecting people from bad actors on their payroll. Nassar’s decades of sexual assault reveal a trail of missed opportunities, familiar to anyone who followed the child abuse scandal at Penn State.

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AL: Alabama moves closer to banning smoking in cars around children: Here’s why (Commentary) – February 02, 2018

Why the ban? It’s all about health.

AZ: Ex-foster child of convicted pedophile files $15M claim against Arizona DCS

Arizona Daily Star – February 04, 2018

A former foster child who spent 12 years in the home of a man convicted of child sex crimes has filed a $15 million claim against two state agencies, saying they failed to protect him from years of physical and sexual abuse.

AZ: New DCS policy aims to keep more kids at home (Includes video)

Arizona Republic – February 04, 2018

The key changes are a more-detailed definition of “safety,” more time for case investigators to spend with a family, and more eyes on the situation. Decisions about a child’s welfare are now the responsibility of a team, rather than just one staffer.

Also: Child welfare reform in Arizona: Teeing up the backlash when the frontlash has barely begun:

CA: Santa Cruz County Profiles: Rebecca London helps harness data on local youth for good

Santa Cruz Sentinel – February 04, 2018

Every system that works with children – education, foster care, probation, court, health and more – collects data on youth, but normally those systems don’t share what they know. If that data flowed between agencies, how could that help the neediest children? That philosophy is at the core of the Silicon Valley Data Trust, a research organization focused on improving student performance by bridging partnerships across Santa Cruz, Santa Clara and San Mateo counties.

CA: State Now Assumes All Homeschoolers Are Child Abusers, Reveals Plans for Involuntary Home Visits (Opinion)

Education News – February 04, 2018

Lawmakers in the state of California are now pushing for families who homeschool their children to be subject to involuntary home visits from state employees-treating those parents with the same oversight and involvement that they would give parents who have abused their children.

Also: Perris ‘House of horror’ allegations a bad pretext to regulate homeschools (Commentary):

CA: Getting Students Work Ready

Carmichael Times – February 02, 2018

For a foster youth in high school, nothing can create a clearer pathway to success as they exit school and the foster care system than having some form of preparation for life on their own.

CA: Patricia Keelean named new executive director of Santa Barbara County’s Community Action Commission

Santa Maria Times – February 02, 2018

Keelean holds a master’s degree in counseling from Clemson University in South Carolina. She is a nationally certified master ROMA (results oriented management and accountability) trainer and a Pathways to Excellence peer reviewer.

CO: Child-welfare workers need high-tech equipment, director says (Includes video)

Grand Junction Daily Sentinel – February 02, 2018

The issue for Mesa County Commissioner Scott McInnis, however, is whether Mesa County should be the first agency in Colorado to apply unproven high-tech solutions to the county’s age-old child abuse problems, especially as the county is emerging from financial distress.

FL: Florida Woman Who Was Raped, Pregnant and Married by 11 Fights to End Child Marriage in America (Includes video)

KTLA – February 04, 2018

Johnson has spent the last five years lobbying lawmakers to stop the kind of abuse she suffered in her childhood. An effort to ban child marriage under the age of 16 got traction in the Florida House in 2014 but went nowhere in the Senate. Since then, Johnson’s words have fallen on deaf ears. Doors have closed on her. Until recently. As incredible as this may sound, Florida stands poised to become the first state in America to say no, unequivocally, to all marriages of minors.

GA: Ligon makes renewed push on faith and adoption bill

Brunswick News – February 03, 2018

It is quite a thing to have, as a legislator, nearly the entire other legislative chamber upset at you. But that is the position state Sen. William Ligon, R-St. Simons Island, found himself in after attaching an amendment to the massive state adoption law overhaul at the end of last year’s session. The amendment would have, in practice, allowed adoption agencies that receive state funds to refuse to do business with people who did not fit with their mission. Many people interpreted that as legal protection for discrimination against same-sex couples and others.

GA: Rural county takes up fight against opioid makers (Includes video)

Atlanta Journal-Constitution – February 02, 2018

A tiny community near Savannah has become the first Georgia county outside of metro Atlanta to file a lawsuit against opioid manufacturers.

IA: To help those struggling with addiction, Iowa should fully fund its courts (Includes video) (Commentary)

Des Moines Register – February 02, 2018

Funding Iowa’s 47 specialty courts costs about $2 million annually, roughly $4,000 per participant. Alternatively, housing a single prison inmate costs $35,000 each year. Since 2007, Iowa’s family treatment courts generated more than $12 million in cost avoidance by safely reunifying parents with children who would otherwise be in foster care.

IN: Child Welfare Group evaluating DCS, Vanderburgh Co. among 5 counties in study (Includes video)

WFIE – February 02, 2018

“It’s about making sure kids are safe,” says Vanderburgh County CASA Executive Director Suzanne Draper. The entire Indiana Department of Child Services is getting an evaluation. Part of that evaluation, includes studying the branch in Vanderburgh County.

IN: Federal government approves work requirement for Healthy Indiana Plan participants

NWI Times – February 02, 2018

The majority of HIP participants instead will qualify for one of the numerous exemptions, including being medically frail, older than age 60, a full- or part-time student, the primary caretaker of young or disabled children, a pregnant woman, a participant in substance abuse treatment, recently incarcerated, or a former foster child.

IN: Goodin On First DCS Progress Report: “We Have A Long Way To Go” (Includes audio)

WBIW – February 02, 2018

“The problems facing DCS are so extreme that I would not be surprised if we end up with a complete overhaul of the agency itself.”—we-have-a-long-way-to-go.php

IN: Indiana DCS report show major increase in kids in the system (Includes video)

WSBT – February 02, 2018

Governor Eric Holcomb ordered an independent consultant with The Child Welfare and Practice Group to do the study last year. One number that sticks out in this new report is the impact of the opioid epidemic on the foster care system.

Also: Child abuse deaths surge in Indiana:

Also: Consultant Gives First Report On Indiana Dept. Of Child Services Problems:

Also: Report:

KS: Psych Bed Shortage Could Be Driving Kansas Foster Care Problems (Includes audio)

KCUR – February 02, 2018

Troubles in the Kansas foster care system might stem in large part from a shortage of places that can help children in psychiatric crisis, say some lawmakers and child advocate groups. Since 2013, the number of psychiatric residential treatment facilities in Kansas has dropped from 11 to eight, with 222 fewer available beds.

KY: House lawmakers make revamp of state’s adoption, foster care system a priority, to speed placements

Kentucky Today – February 05, 2018

House lawmakers have made a measure that would revamp the state’s adoption and foster care system their top priority for the current legislative session. House Majority Caucus Chairman David Meade, R-Stanford, filed House Bill 1 on Tuesday, saying the measure would be a first step in streamlining the actual placement of children into loving homes in a quick and affordable manner.

MD: Md. police and lawmakers target digital evidence in child abuse cases

WTOP – February 05, 2018

Maryland State Police have begun to chip away at a backlog of digital evidence, and new funds have started flowing that could help the agency and other police departments around the state move faster on investigations into child sexual abuse.

MT: Montana has little regulation of home schools, and parents are just fine with that

Billings Gazette – February 04, 2018

A 1991 law passed in the Montana Legislature gave parents the right to have control over their children’s education essentially without government interference. Parents who want to home-school their children are not required to have a teaching license or to have a certain level of education, such as a high school diploma.

MT: Dozens speak out against state’s program fee cuts (Includes video)

Great Falls Tribune – February 01, 2018

Dozens of people lined up Thursday to urge state officials not to make proposed reductions in Medicaid and non-Medicaid services, saying they would be devastating to the thousands of Montana families that need them. The MAR outlines fees for a host of programs, including therapeutic foster care, home support services, targeted case management and physician, podiatry, psychiatric, optometric and dental services.

Also: DPHHS hears concerns about proposed Medicaid cuts:

Also: Key GOP lawmaker says Bullock has options to avoid human-service cuts:

NC: Pushing Back: Burke files lawsuit against opioid makers and distributors (Includes video)

Morganton News Herald – February 04, 2018

Burke County joined other counties across the U.S. when it filed a lawsuit against numerous manufacturers and distributors of opioid painkillers on Wednesday in federal court. The lawsuit claims negligence and negligent misrepresentation, civil conspiracy, fraud, violation of the North Carolina Unfair and Deceptive Trade Practices Act and violations of Racketeer Influenced and Corrupt Organizations Act by the manufacturers and distributors and says they have created a public nuisance.

NC: Worries grow that the opioid epidemic is creating a lost generation of children

Kenosha News – February 04, 2018

America’s opioid crisis is harming an entire generation of children in ways that will last a lifetime. In Western North Carolina, hundreds are entering a foster care system already burdened by a surge in opioid-related cases. Hospitals in Appalachian states sometimes spend weeks helping newborns withdraw from opioid dependency after their mothers used during pregnancy. Teens are finding easy access to prescribed and illegal opioids, such as heroin.

NH: Senate approves bill to preserve abuse, neglect records

Associated Press – February 04, 2018

New Hampshire’s child protection agency would be required to keep records of child abuse and neglect allegations for at least seven years under a bill advancing in the Legislature, but questions remain about how to store those records electronically.

NH: Foster parents’ rights bill met with skepticism by DCYF official

Concord Monitor – February 03, 2018

Legislation seeking to establish a “bill of rights” for New Hampshire foster parents ran into new barriers Friday, after a top official from the Division of Children, Youth and Families raised concerns it would constrain the agency’s operations.

OH: Counties seek family members to care for kids of addicted parents

Columbus Dispatch – January 28, 2018

As Ohio’s drug-addiction crisis continues, the state is trying new approaches to help the children caught up in it. Fairfield County Child Protective Services workers hope to be part of the solution by finding more homes. They are planning a strong push to recruit both kinship families, composed of relatives, and foster families, to care for the children of drug-addicted parents who cannot.

OK: ‘Old time biblical hospitality’: Churches provide surrogate family network for parents before crises occur

Oklahoman – February 04, 2018

The local Christian faith community is stepping in as a surrogate extended family of sorts for metro area parents with little or no resources. A grandmother who needed to find stable employment before taking in the child of her incarcerated daughter. A man with no one to care for his children while he tended to the needs of his hospitalized spouse. Each of these individuals obtained help through Safe Families Oklahoma, a program started almost three years ago by Crossings Community Church, 14600 N Portland Ave., and Council Road Baptist Church in Bethany

OK: Keith Howard: Oklahoma’s foster care system has steadied, but we still have a job to do (Opinion)

Tulsa World – February 03, 2018

In the latter part of 2017, the Chronicles for Social Change, writing on foster care in the U.S., released an article highlighting states that had seen an increase in new foster care homes from the years 2012 through 2017. Oklahoma led the way with 3,302 new foster homes. During that time, Oklahoma joined a handful of other states in seeing a decrease in the number of children in foster care.

OK: Murdered girl’s grandparents accept $475,000 to end their case against Oklahoma Department of Human Services

Oklahoman – February 03, 2018

A murdered girl’s grandparents have settled their wrongful-death lawsuit against the Oklahoma Department of Human Services for $475,000.

OR: Sec. of State Richardson makes statement about Oregon’s child welfare system

KOBI 5 – February 02, 2018

“Twenty-eight years ago, Cathy and I learned that some Child Welfare administrators were bullies. They managed through fear and intimidation, while others were angels, dedicated to helping the children in their charge. Although the situation has only worsened over the years, and the harm done to children is truly a tragedy, there is hope that the situation is about to change.”

Also: Oregon Secretary of State Audit of Foster Care System Reveals Systemic Problems:

OR: Will deadlines fix the problem? Oregon seeks to house foster children in homes, not hotels (Commentary)

Oregonian – February 02, 2018

Oregon officials who oversee child welfare have considered an aspirational plan to stop housing foster children in hotels, according to information obtained by The Oregonian/OregonLive. Doing so would require state child welfare officials to quickly and dramatically expand the pool of foster homes capable of housing children, including some with particularly high needs, on short notice.

OR: Audit: Oregon foster care needs more money, culture fix

Associated Press – January 31, 2018

Caseworkers strained to the breaking point, a drop in available foster homes for 11,000 youngsters and management shortcomings were cited as serious problems in an audit released Wednesday by the Oregon secretary of state. “This is a statewide problem. This isn’t a problem for the governor to fix, not a problem for the Legislature just to fix. It’s our problem. These are our children,” said Secretary of State Dennis Richardson, who along with his wife adopted a girl 27 years ago.

PR: How Do You Help Children Recover From Natural Disasters? (Includes video) (Commentary)

Newsy – February 02, 2018

After Hurricane Maria, the international advocacy group Save the Children went to Puerto Rico to help. One of its biggest focuses was helping children recover from possible trauma and bringing back a sense of normalcy.

Information Gateway resource: Disaster Planning for Child Welfare Agencies:

TX: State must fix foster-care system

Dallas Morning News – February 05, 2018

We have all seen this on TV cop shows, or maybe you’ve been a real-life bystander: A weary police officer, trying to get a grip on a struggling, squirming suspect, half-orders and half-pleads: “Stop resisting!” It’s advice state leaders might want to weigh in their obstinate determination to defy federal orders to improve Texas’ child-welfare system for kids in foster care. There’s a time and a place for posturing — it’s the lifeblood of American electoral politics — but not when the well-being of vulnerable children is on the line.

TX: Children’s Advocacy Center for Denton County strives to serve more children

Carrollton Leader – February 02, 2018

Last year the Children’s Advocacy Center for Denton County offered 850 investigative interviews, but officials recently learned that as many as 30 percent of children who report sex abuse allegations are not receiving their services. “Our promise to Denton County is that any child who needs our type of wrap-around service will get it,” said Kristen Howell, CEO of CACDC. “We are going to dive deep into this new data to really see who we’re missing.”

TX: VIEWPOINTS: Texas needs to follow, not fight mandates to improve CPS

Austin American Statesman – February 02, 2018

Though it is a necessary safety net for children who need protection, a federal judge ruled four years ago that CPS causes more harm to children in a system where studies show children are repeatedly abused.

WA: Everday People: Chinook store joins global campaign to help babies sleep safely

Chinook Observer – February 02, 2018

Season Long wants all babies to have a healthy and comfortable start in life. Long has owned All Season’s since 2001, selling new and “gently used” clothes and other items. She and Amber Linthakhan, store manager, are promoting a new service at their consignment store. They have signed up as distributors with the Baby Box Co., a global initiative to educate parents and offer simple resources to give babies a safe and healthy start in life.

WI: County agencies stand ready to aid foster families

Kenosha News – February 04, 2018

Burke County joined other counties across the U.S. when it filed a lawsuit against numerous manufacturers and distributors of opioid painkillers on Wednesday in federal court. The lawsuit claims negligence and negligent misrepresentation, civil conspiracy, fraud, violation of the North Carolina Unfair and Deceptive Trade Practices Act and violations of Racketeer Influenced and Corrupt Organizations Act by the manufacturers and distributors and says they have created a public nuisance.

WI: Fostering hope: My Foster Kids Foundation and Fosters ReStore (Commentary)

Kenosha News – February 04, 2018

David and Chris Fricke are foster parents whose mission is to support foster children long after their first placement in a foster home. To that end, they have created My Foster Kids Foundation, a nonprofit organization whose funds may end up helping some foster children attend college.

WV: House bill would put foster kids into managed care programs

Metro News – February 05, 2018

Foster children in West Virginia would be transitioned to managed care programs through Medicaid under a proposed bill that’s now pending in the House Finance Committee. As proposed, HB 4241 allows for coordinated acute care, including medical, pharmacy, dental and behavioral health services, as opposed to the current fee per Medicaid service model used for the more than 6,300 kids currently in foster care.

US: Grabbing the Wrong End of the Stick on Educational Stability for Foster Youth (Commentary)

Child Welfare Monitor – February 05, 2018

For decades, children in foster care have endured multiple school changes as they moved between foster homes and other placements. With each move there is another school placement, with some children and youth changing schools several times in the same year. This is not a satisfactory situation, especially because many children who are placed in foster care have already endured many school changes and long periods of absence from school, leaving them already behind academically.

US: Graduates of early childhood program show greater educational gains as adults – February 05, 2018

Students who participated in an intensive childhood education program from preschool to third grade were more likely to achieve an academic degree beyond high school, compared to a similar group that received other intervention services as children, according to a study funded by the National Institutes of Health. Researchers led by Arthur Reynolds, Ph.D., at the University of Minnesota, Minneapolis, followed the 30-year progress of 989 children who attended the Child-Parent Centers (CPC) program in inner-city Chicago as preschoolers. Their findings appear in JAMA Pediatrics.

US: A Salvadoran couple adopted three American daughters. Now they face threat of deportation (Includes video)

Desert Sun – February 02, 2018

For nearly 20 years, S.M. and A.A., both from El Salvador, have worked legally in the Coachella Valley under a federal program called Temporary Protected Status. It has allowed them to save money to buy a home and start a family. But ever since the Trump Administration announced in early January that it would be ending deportation protections for Salvadorans, S.M. and A.A. have wrestled with a daunting question: If they lose their status in the country, what will happen to the three American-born daughters they’ve adopted in the past five years?

US: Children off the Radar Screen: What the Child Welfare System Can Learn from Aviation Safety (Commentary)

Chronicle of Social Change – February 02, 2018

The past year marked an unprecedented safety milestone for commercial aviation and surely provided much relief for airline passengers, especially frequent fliers. For the first time in aviation history, there was not a single fatality on commercial jet airliners, which flew 4.1 billion passengers around the world. That was due largely to the skills of tens of thousands of pilots, air-traffic controllers, flight attendants and mechanics. During the same period in the United States alone, approximately 1,700 children died from abuse. Why don’t children deserve a year with no deaths from abuse?

US: More pregnant women are smoking marijuana. Is that a bad thing?

Kaiser Health News – February 02, 2018

There are nearly 2,600 members now in the Facebook group. Marijuana, which became legal for recreational use in California this month, is seen by many group members as an all-natural and seemingly harmless remedy for everything from morning sickness to postpartum depression. In Pennsylvania and New Jersey, it is legal only for certain medical uses.

US: New data: child abuse deaths rise, notably in Texas, Indiana

Associated Press – February 02, 2018

According to a report released this week by the Department of Health and Human Services, there were 1,700 fatalities resulting from child maltreatment reported in fiscal year 2016, compared to 1,589 the previous year – a 7 percent increase. The figures encompass data from every state but Maine, as well as from the District of Columbia and Puerto Rico.

Report: Child Maltreatment 2016:

Also: Federal Report: Child Maltreatment Numbers Down, Child Deaths Up:

Also: United States: Report Reveals Sharp Increase in Child Abuse Deaths:

US: Opinion: Stop abusers like Nassar from hurting more children

Mercury News – February 02, 2018

Many are asking, “How could this have happened?” Sadly, sexual abuse, and the broader problem of child abuse, is a widespread and pernicious threat to both our kids and our country’s well-being. Cities around the country are reporting that crime is at a record low, touting statistics that harken back decades, but crimes against children continue to rise.

US: The foster care system was unprepared for the last drug epidemic-let’s not repeat history

Brookings Institution – February 02, 2018

An estimated 500,000 children and youth are living in foster care in the United States today. A disproportionate number of them are poor and/or minorities. Foster care is intended to be a temporary safe haven until a child can be reunited with their family or until another permanent placement can be found. Being removed from one’s family and placed into foster care often results in life-changing trauma for a child, making the role of foster parents critically important to the child’s ability to cope and recover from trauma. The nurturing, guidance, and skilled parenting that foster families provide children and youth can make the difference in whether their trauma is exacerbated or they can grow and flourish. Indeed, foster parents are the child welfare system’s primary intervention for helping children. Unfortunately, current policies and practices do not adequately promote quality parenting in all foster care settings.


Australia: Church flags obstacles ahead for child abuse redress scheme (Includes audio)

ABC News Australia – February 05, 2018

The Catholic Church has expressed concern that the Commonwealth Redress Scheme for survivors of child sexual abuse might not have national support when it fully begins in July. The Church says it wants to be a part of the scheme but its hands are tied because the states haven’t opted in.


AL: House approves watered-down day care regulation bill

Associated Press – February 01, 2018

The Alabama House of Representatives on Thursday approved a compromise child care bill aimed at getting more oversight for nearly 1,000 faith-based day cares that operate unlicensed by the state.

CO: To Prevent Child Abuse And Neglect, DHS Invests In Community Partners (Press release)

City and County of Denver, Co. – January 31, 2018

DHS invites Denver community organizations to apply for up to $1,500 in mini-grant funding to support Child Abuse Prevention Month activities.

FL: Family who fought for over a year finally adopts ‘Baby Liberty’ (Includes video)

JAX – February 01, 2018

“Decisions were made without proper investigation or information,” Harrell said. “In that sense, the system failed her right then and there. Fortunately, there are safeguards there, and it was a temporary situation, thank goodness.”

FL: Opinion: Florida’s foster children deserve legal representation

Tallahassee Democrat – February 01, 2018

Fewer than 10 percent of Florida’s foster children have an attorney representing them in court. The Panhandle is fortunate to have Legal Services of North Florida, which has nine part-time attorneys to provide high quality representation to children in the 16 counties in Northwest Florida. They currently represent 210 of the 2,283 children in out of home care in those counties.

GA: House passes Bert Reeves’ adoption bill, stalls in Senate – again

Marietta Daily Journal – February 02, 2018

After spending two years researching, studying and rewriting the state’s dated adoption laws, Reeves filed legislation that modernized those laws into the 21st century last year. He was careful to craft a nonpartisan bill that remained neutral on divisive social issues. Georgia has 13,000 foster care children. The time spent adopting a child in foster care in Georgia is two and a half times the length of the national average.

IN: DCS update: Hoosier children in foster care more than doubled in 5 years

Indianapolis Star – February 01, 2018

Specifically, the number of children in Indiana’s welfare system more than doubled over five years to 16,834 in December 2017, the report said. That’s more than double the average rate nationally, according to Sue Steib, a consultant with the group.

Also: Briefing: Indiana removes children from homes more than twice national average:

KY: Where’s the money? Bevin administration yet to give families court-ordered foster payments (Commentary) (Includes video)

Louisville Courier Journal – February 01, 2018

Gov. Matt Bevin’s proposed budget includes $22.9 million over the next two years to comply with an October federal court ruling requiring the state to pay relatives providing free foster care for children removed from homes because of abuse or neglect.

MA: House Ok’s raises to lure child welfare attorneys to Western Mass.

State House News Service – February 01, 2018

The $16.5 million spending bill that passed the House on Wednesday includes a provision allowing the Committee for Public Counsel Services (CPCS) to declare an emergency if it determines there is a “limited availability of qualified private counsel appointed or assigned to care and protection cases in any county.” Once it declares an emergency, CPCS could raise the compensation for such lawyers from $55 per hour to as much as $75 per hour.

ME: Maine’s chief justice criticizes DHHS handling of adoption dispute

Courier-Gazette – February 01, 2018

But in a separate opinion, Chief Justice Leigh Saufley wrote that “I must reluctantly concur in the court’s opinion, particularly given the child’s attachment to her foster family in Maine. I write separately, however, because the state’s delays in establishing a solid contact schedule with the Massachusetts family have led to the sad result that (the child) will be deprived of the opportunity to grow up in an available family with her biological siblings.”

MO: MO Lawmakers Pass Human Trafficking Measure – First Accomplishment of 2018

Ozarks First – February 02, 2018

The first piece of legislation to pass through the Missouri General Assembly is a bipartisan bill aimed at helping the fight against human trafficking. The measure requires the Department of Public Safety to develop a poster containing information, such as the human trafficking resource center hotline phone number, by January 2019.

NH: Child Advocate to Oversee N.H’s Child Protection System (Interview) (Includes audio)

New Hampshire Public Radio – February 01, 2018

The Office of Child Advocate is a watchdog agency created last year by lawmakers as part of a larger effort to reform the state’s current child protection system.

NM: Legislative committee debates penalty for fatal child abuse

Santa Fe New Mexican – February 01, 2018

Under current state law on child abuse, life sentences can only be given to defendants who intentionally kill a child younger than 12. Someone who abuses and kills a child between 13 and 18 can receive a sentence of up to 18 years.

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

Rochester Democrat and Chronicle – February 01, 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.

Information Gateway resource: Mandated Reporting:

OR: Fix foster care shortfalls. State needs to make major improvements – soon (Commentary)

Register-Guard – February 02, 2018

A blistering audit of Oregon’s foster care system released by Secretary of State Dennis Richardson’s office this week should make Oregonians hang their heads in shame.

Also: Child welfare facing serious issues (Commentary):

Also: Audit of Oregon’s child welfare system released:

PA: Auditor general discusses burgeoning CYS caseloads due to opioid epidemic

Observer-Reporter – February 02, 2018

CYS receives more than 4,000 calls concerning children each year. In the first part of its fiscal year, which encompasses July through December 2017, the agency received an average of 340 reports per month, up 12 percent from the same period in 2015. Forty-four percent of all cases accepted for services during fiscal year 2016-17 involved parental substance abuse.

RI: Rhode Island May Extend Foster Care Until 21 (Again) (Commentary)

Chronicle of Social Change – February 01, 2018

Rhode Island Gov. Gina Raimondo’s new budget plan includes funding for children in foster care to continue receiving state support after they turn 18, which would mark a return to the state’s approach before the Great Recession.

US: Home Schooling is not a crime (Commentary)

Sun-Gazette – February 02, 2018

The deep, wide and vast majority of home-schoolers nationwide are loving, excellent and responsible instructors and parents. Yet, public school lobbyists have marginalized them as amateurs, weirdos and menaces who don’t have the intelligence to raise and educate their own children.

US: RELEASE: CAP Launches Welcoming All Families Storytelling Campaign To Combat Anti-LGBTQ Discrimination in Adoption (Press release)

Center for American Progress – February 01, 2018

The Center for American Progress, in partnership with the Family Equality Council’s Every Child Deserves A Family Campaign, is announcing a new project to raise awareness about discrimination against both LGBTQ parents and children in the foster care and adoption system. The storytelling project, known as Welcoming All Families, allows people to share their stories about being turned away by an adoption placement agency due to their LGBTQ identity.

US: US Olympic officials reportedly failed to act on Larry Nassar sex abuse claims in 2015

Thomson Reuters Foundation – February 01, 2018

Many of Nassar’s victims have criticized the USOC for failing to remove him sooner. That has come as part of wider outrage at USA Gymnastics, the sport’s governing body in the United States, and Michigan State University, where Nassar was employed and abused many of his victims.


Canada: Ottawa to increase funding for First Nations child welfare services

CBC – February 01, 2018

Indigenous Services Minister Jane Philpott says her department would immediately move to increase funding for First Nation child welfare services following another compliance order from the Canadian Human Rights Tribunal found Ottawa fails to grasp the “seriousness and emergency of the issues.”

Also: Indigenous child welfare agencies to get funding immediately, Philpott says:

Romania: Matching neglected children with foster care families earlier in life promotes resilience, healthy functioning, new Stanford study says

Stanford News – February 02, 2018

Neglected children who are placed with foster care families earlier in life are more likely to be just as resilient and competent socially, academically and physically as their peers who have never been institutionalized when they reach their teenage years, according to new Stanford research focused on children in Romania.


CA: Report: Two-Thirds of CA Children Born to Low-Income Families (Includes audio)

Public News Service – February 01, 2018

“All our grades stayed the same or went up from two years ago,” Lempert said. “So the bad news is the grades are low, the outcomes aren’t there. The good news is, we are making some improvement.” The state got its highest grade, an A, for the levels of health insurance – 97 percent of California children are insured, including undocumented kids. One of the lowest grades, a D-plus, came in prevention of child abuse and neglect.

Report: 2018 California Children’s Report Card:

CO: To Prevent Child Abuse and Neglect, DHS Invests in Community Partners (Press release)

Denver Human Services – January 31, 2018

Keeping families strong and children safe is a role all people play in Denver, especially community organizations who serve as neighborhood gathering places where children and families are safe and supported. Denver Human Services (DHS) is inviting community organizations in Denver to apply for up to $1,500 in mini-grant funding to host community events and programs in support of Child Abuse Prevention Month this April.–dhs-invests-in-community-par.html

FL: Bill Banning Child Marriage Sails Through Florida Senate

Sunshine State News – January 31, 2018

The measure, SB 140, would prohibit anyone under the age of 18 from tying the knot. Florida law currently allows people as young as 16 to get married.

IN: Indiana child welfare chief to offer update on agency review

Seymour Tribune – February 01, 2018

Department of Child Services Director Terry Stigdon will give the briefing Thursday morning at the Statehouse. The review of the agency was launched in January following the resignation of the former Director Mary Beth Bonaventura. She accused Holcomb’s administration in a scathing letter of service cuts and management changes that “all but ensure children will die.”

Also: Consultant releases study of state’s child welfare system:

Also: DCS to Give Progress Report on Departmental Assessment:

IN: Church, partners help foster, adoptive parents

Tribune Star – January 31, 2018

Kristi Cundiff, founder and CEO of Indiana Foster & Adoptive Parents and Advocacy Group, on Tuesday helped show off a new clothes closet housed in the Northside Community United Methodist Church. “Our goal here is to help foster families have everything they need. We know there are over 30,000 children in care right now in the state of Indiana. We know that there is not a lot of per diem per child, and foster parents, at least very few, get help with foster care,” Cundiff said.

MD: Maryland Senate votes to end parental rights of rapists

Associated Press – January 30, 2018

The Maryland Senate voted unanimously Tuesday to end parental rights of rapists over children conceived through rape. The 45-0 vote sends the bill to the House, where an identical measure has advanced for a vote later this week. Both chambers have made the bill a priority this session after it failed to pass for nearly a decade.

ME: State chief justice scolds DHHS over disputed adoption

Knox Village Soup – January 31, 2018

The chief justice of the state’s highest court has criticized the Maine Department of Health and Human Services for its handling of the adoption of a Knox County child. The Maine Supreme Judicial Court ruled Tuesday, Jan. 30, in a disputed case of competing families wanting to adopt a 2-year-old girl.

NM: Offering same remedies for children that have failed in past (Commentary)

Las Cruces Sun-News – January 31, 2018

Someone once said, “If you always do what you’ve always done, you’ll always get what you always got.” And yet, according to the January 21 article, “Child Welfare, Why is NM still at the bottom of rankings?” that is exactly what is being proposed – more of the same remedies that have never worked.

NY: Offering Jailed Women More Visits and Help Toward a Better Life

New York Times – January 31, 2018

Building on efforts to reduce the jail population at Rikers Island, Mayor Bill de Blasio will announce on Thursday a $6 million plan intended to help rehabilitate female inmates, and lessen the chance that they return. The proposal, which was created and will be overseen by Chirlane McCray, the mayor’s wife, calls for improving the frequency and quality of family visits for women at Rikers, and broadening mental health and transitional career counseling.

Information Gateway resource: Reunification and Visits With Parents Who Are Incarcerated:

OR: Audit: Oregon foster care needs more money, culture fix

Associated Press – January 31, 2018

Caseworkers strained to the breaking point, a drop in available foster homes for 11,000 youngsters and management shortcomings were cited as serious problems in an audit released Wednesday by the Oregon secretary of state. “This is a statewide problem. This isn’t a problem for the governor to fix, not a problem for the Legislature just to fix. It’s our problem. These are our children,” said Secretary of State Dennis Richardson, who along with his wife adopted a girl 27 years ago.

Report No. 2018-05: Department of Human Services: Foster Care in Oregon: Chronic management failures and high caseloads jeopardize the safety of some of the state’s most vulnerable children?:

Also: Audit of Oregon’s child welfare system released:

Also: Audit Finds Wealth Of Problems With Oregon’s Child Welfare Office :

Also: Audit: Oregon’s foster care system faces deep and persistent problems :

Also: Oregon DHS child welfare audit says staff endured ‘bullying, intimidation’ by agency leaders (Includes video):

TN: New program aims to support child welfare (Includes video)

WBBJ – January 31, 2018

The West Tennessee Healthcare Foundation introduced a first of its kind program, designed for child welfare agencies to assist young children and their families. Thanks to an almost half million dollar contract with the Tennessee Department of Children’s Services, Madison County welcomed ‘Safe Baby Court’.

TX: Child welfare board launches CASA drive

Bowie News – January 31, 2018

The Montague County Child Welfare Board partners with other agencies to provide the “wrap around care” for county children who are victims of abuse and neglect. One of those agencies is Court Appointed Special Advocates of Wichita Falls. A CASA is an advocate who becomes the voice of a child in court. CASAs get to know the child and speak up for their best interest in court, at school and with their Child Protective Services caseworker.

TX: Judge orders Texas CPS chief to appear in court over runaway

Associated Press – January 30, 2018

A judge has ordered the leader of Texas’ Child Protective Services to appear in court to explain why the agency can’t keep a 14-year-old girl from repeatedly running away from foster care. The Austin American-Statesman reports state District Judge Paul Rotenberry directed Department of Family and Protective Services Commissioner Hank Whitman, who runs CPS, to appear in Rotenberry’s Abilene courtroom Wednesday. The still-missing teen has run away from foster care five times since April.

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.

UT: Utah May Legalize Free-Range Parenting (Commentary)

Reason – January 08, 2018

If the lawmakers pass SB65, parents who want to give their kids a smidge of childhood freedom won’t have to worry about a knock on the door from cops or child protective service workers second-guessing the decision to send their kids outside without a security detail.

WI: For survivors of sexual assault: Help us investigate Wisconsin’s treatment of rape kits (Includes video)(Commentary)

Sheboygan Press – January 31, 2018

Hundreds of untested kits have been attributed to “uncooperative, not credible or unreliable” victims, as well. But state authorities have cautioned that police officers lacked training in the past to recognize trauma and may have mistreated sexual assault survivors during investigations.

US: Bill Targets Sex Abuse Charges In Amateur Athletics

My Mother Load – January 31, 2018

A bill authored by California Senator Dianne Feinstein that would require amateur athletics governing bodies to report sex abuse allegations to local or federal law enforcement, or a child welfare agency, within 24 hours passed the senate Tuesday.

US: The foster care system was unprepared for the last drug epidemic-let’s not repeat history (Commentary)

Brookings Institution – January 31, 2018

The nurturing, guidance, and skilled parenting that foster families provide children and youth can make the difference in whether their trauma is exacerbated or they can grow and flourish. Indeed, foster parents are the child welfare system’s primary intervention for helping children. Unfortunately, current policies and practices do not adequately promote quality parenting in all foster care settings. This is a problem we aim to fix.

US: What employers can do to stop the next Larry Nassar (Commentary)

Bozeman Daily Chronicle – January 31, 2018

Michigan State University, where Nassar worked as a doctor, now faces civil lawsuits from 140 of Nassar’s victims. The scandal prompted the resignation of the school’s president. For years, employers like Michigan State have failed to recognize the critical role they play in protecting people from bad actors on their payroll. Nassar’s decades of sexual assault reveal a trail of missed opportunities, familiar to anyone who followed the child abuse scandal at Penn State.

US: Trump immigration plan’s impact on family ‘deeply troubling,’ says bishop

Catholic News Service – January 30, 2018

The chairman of the U.S. bishops’ migration committee said Jan. 30 that the Catholic bishops welcomed the Trump administration’s proposal to give “Dreamers” a path to citizenship, but at the same time, they are “deeply troubled” about the plan’s “impact on family unity.”


Canada: & Australia: Reconciliation process: What can Canada learn from Australia?

UC Observer – February 01, 2018

Both countries have terrible histories with Indigenous peoples. The writer travels Down Under to find out how they’re trying to make it right.

Indonesia: New initiative enhances child protection in Bali

ETurboNews – January 31, 2018

Friends-International is delighted to announce the launch of the ChildSafe Movement in Bali with the support of Buffalo Tours. Together with Yayasan Teman Baik, their local Indonesian program helping marginalized children, youth, and their families, the ChildSafe Movement is raising awareness of child protection among all tourism industry stakeholders, including promoting tourist behaviors and actions that will prevent risk to children and effectively protect them.

Iraq: ACTED’s Community Volunteers take the lead in child protection

Relief Web – January 31, 2018

With UNICEF’s support, ACTED’s community-led approach to child protection in Qushtapa camp, Erbil, in the Kurdistan Region of Iraq, is broadening academic and recreational opportunities for displaced children.



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.