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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.

CA: California’s homelessness crisis – and possible solutions – explained (Commentary)
CalMatters – December 31, 2019
California’s most vexing issue is also its most shameful: the large and rising number of residents who lack a safe place to call home. In a state with vast amounts of wealth, more than 150,000 of its residents sleep in shelters, cars, or on the street.


CA: First clergy abuse suits under new California law announced
Catholic News Service – December 31, 2019
An attorney who specializes in lawsuits for victims of clergy sexual abuse has announced plans to file 12 suits in nine California dioceses under California’s new Child Victims Act, which takes effect Jan. 1, extending the state’s statute of limitations for childhood sexual abuse survivors.


FL: Life Management Center pushing for more foster families
Panama City News Herald – January 01, 2020
With an influx of foster children, there is still a shortage of foster families in Bay County.


MA: Teen arrests drop steeply in Massachusetts after criminal justice reform
Republican – December 31, 2019
Juvenile arrests dropped by 43% between fiscal 2018 and fiscal 2019, from nearly 2,500 to 1,400, according to a new report. Complaints and delinquency filings dropped by 26% and 33% respectively. A complaint is filed when a juvenile age 12-17 is accused of criminal activity; a delinquency filing occurs after a clerk magistrate finds probable cause that the juvenile committed a crime.


MI: Code of silence reigns amid scandals, misbehavior at all-boys Catholic schools
Detroit Free Press – January 02, 2020
When scandals break, especially ones involving sexual assault, many students and alumni don’t publicly talk about it. And the victims keep a super low profile if recent controversies are any indication. As many alumni and students have said: If you want to survive in an all-boys setting, you have to keep quiet when something bad happens.


MN: Reality Check: New Minnesota Laws Going Into Effect In 2020 (Includes video)
WCCO – January 01, 2020
In October, you get 12 weeks paid family leave when you have a baby through birth, adoption or foster care.


MO: Missouri governor says state will accept refugees
Hill – December 31, 2019
Missouri Gov. Michael Parson (R) said Monday that the state will accept refugees after President Trump signed an executive order allowing governors to opt out of doing so, according to the St. Louis Post-Dispatch.


MS: Lee, Marshall and Alcorn among Northeast Mississippi counties with over 100 children in MDCPS custody
Daily Journal – January 02, 2020
There are currently 156 children in custody in Lee County, while Marshall County has 112 children in custody and Alcorn County has 104. Lee County currently has 99 licensed foster care homes, while Alcorn has 37 and Marshall has 24. MDCPS Director of Communications Lea Ann Brandon said they also have several more in process of being licensed. While the number of foster care homes varies in places like Lee County, statewide there are counties that have very few foster homes available.


MT: Helping families say ‘yes’ to adoption, fostering
Bigfork Eagle – January 01, 2020
Since 2010, the Bigfork-based nonprofit Child Bridge has helped link these children with prospective foster or adoptive families resulting in 141 successful adoptions and 1,432 foster placements over the past decade. The organization, which now operates seven regional offices across the state, was founded by Steve and Mary Bryan, who wanted to find a faith-based solution to support foster and orphaned children.


NY: Real Criminal Justice Reform Requires Standing Up to Fear-Mongering (Opinion)
Gotham Gazette – January 01, 2020
As public defenders, we see firsthand the impact that jailing has on the criminal legal system, as we routinely represent clients who languish in jail for months, if not years, simply because they are unable to afford bail money. They miss milestones like graduations, weddings, and funerals while they are detained away from their families and friends, losing jobs and housing, and even losing their children to foster care — all without ever having been convicted of anything. Not to mention the grave risk to their lives: 372 people have died in New York City jails since 2001.


NY: Rochester Diocese using old legal ‘playbook’ by declaring bankruptcy, say victims’ advocates
National Catholic Reporter – December 13, 2019
When the Rochester Diocese became the first in New York State to file for bankruptcy in September, it didn’t come as a surprise to legal experts. With the state passing the Child Victims Act in August, extending the statute of limitations for sex abuse victims, the diocese was served with hundreds of lawsuits alleging abuse, dating back decades.


OR: Slew of new Oregon laws taking effect Jan. 1
Statesman Journal – January 01, 2020
A ban on single-use plastic bags, an expansion of who is required to report child abuse and a requirement that research facilities offer up for adoption dogs and cats used in research are among the 328 laws passed by the Oregon Legislature during the 2019 session.


RI: Church fights abuse lawsuit filed after limit was extended
Associated Press – December 30, 2019
Rhode Island’s Roman Catholic diocese is challenging a lawsuit filed after a state law gave sex abuse victims more time to sue their abusers or the institutions they worked for. The challenge by the Diocese of Providence comes in the case of a 53-year-old man who sued the diocese in September, saying he was abused as a child in the 1970s and 1980s by a now-dead North Providence priest, The Providence Journal reported Dec. 27.


TX: Get Involved Spotlight: The Settlement Home For Children (Includes audio) (Press release)
Settlement Home for Children – January 01, 2020
At The Settlement Home for Children, our mission is to promote healing and growth in children, young adults and families by providing a continuum of care, support and resources.


TX: GC Child Welfare Board looking for a few good folks to become or support foster families
Herald Democrat – December 31, 2019
Social media plays a part in almost every endeavor under the sun these days including helping the Grayson County Child Welfare Board keep more local foster children local. Currently, there are more than 200 local children who are involved in the foster care system and 143 of them are housed outside of Grayson County because there only 24 open foster homes in county.


WV: Editorial: Survey reveals another gap in foster care system
Logan Banner – January 01, 2020
West Virginia’s system for caring for nearly 7,000 children now in state custody increasingly has been under the microscope – partly because the number of foster children has grown markedly in recent years, one of the fallouts from the opioid epidemic. Another part of it, however, has to do with what various examinations of the system have discovered in recent months. What’s clear is that the state is struggling to provide for these children.


US: Hundreds of accused clergy left off church’s sex abuse lists
Associated Press – January 01, 2020
Richard J. Poster served time for possessing child pornography, violated his probation by having contact with children, admitted masturbating in the bushes near a church school and in 2005 was put on a sex offender registry. And yet the former Catholic priest was only just this month added to a list of clergy members credibly accused of child sexual abuse – after The Associated Press asked why he was not included.


US: Child Welfare in Crisis (Audio)
City Journal – December 31, 2019
Naomi Schaefer Riley joins City Journal editor Brian Anderson to discuss the state of the American child-welfare services, and describes and what some nonprofits are doing to improve foster care across the country.


US: Greyhound giving free tickets home to runaway children (Includes video)
Atlanta Journal-Constitution – December 31, 2019
About two million children and teens runaway from home every year, but Greyhound and the National Runaway Safeline are partnering to give children a bus ticket to reunite with their families.




Canada: New laws and rules coming into effect in 2020
CTV News – January 01, 2020
Legislation known as the Act Respecting First Nations, Inuit and Métis Children, Youth and Families will come into full force on Jan. 1, 2020. It is meant to overhaul Canada’s Indigenous child welfare system, which critics have for years described as inadequate and discriminatory.


International: In Just 20 Years, Over 220 Million Children Have Been Saved From Marriage, Labor, and Violence
Good News Network – January 01, 2020
As English political philosopher Thomas Hobbes famously stated in his treatise On Commonwealth, life without the commonwealth was “nasty, brutish, and short”. In commemoration of its founding 100 years ago, Save the Children has released its third Global Childhood Report-and it contains figures that would make Hobbes blush. In Hobbes’ day, the average male life expectancy was about 35 to 45 years at birth in England; now the chances for a child-even in rural Africa-of reaching adulthood unmarried, nourished, and educated education, are getting stronger and stronger.
Report: Changing Lives in Our Lifetime:


Saudi Arabia: Saudi Arabia’s fight against child marriage
Arab News – January 01, 2020
Saudi Arabia’s Ministry of Justice has taken important steps to combat child marriage, warning licensed individuals who conclude marriage contracts (Maa’zoun) to ensure that the Kingdom’s child protection laws are upheld. Poverty and cultural traditions, as well as social pressure and illiteracy, are blamed for early marriage.


CA: Students in foster care: a quick guide
EdSource – December 31, 2019
Under a 2003 California law (AB 490), all county offices of education and school districts must appoint an educational liaison to ensure proper enrollment, transfer and placement of foster children in their schools. Before this law, when students in care were suddenly moved to a new placement and had to change schools, their academic records, credits and grades often were not transferred in a timely manner. As a result, the students were often not assigned to appropriate classes and did not receive essential academic services.


CA: Maltreatment, abuse reports rise among San Diego foster care kids (Includes video)
KGTV – December 30, 2019
The County of San Diego created an advisory board with the goal of protecting children in foster care, but new numbers reveal reports of maltreatment or abuse are on the rise.


CO: Colorado has a big shortage of volunteers to speak up for foster kids in court
Colorado Sun – December 30, 2019
The person volunteering their time to make sure a child’s voice is heard is a Court Appointed Special Advocate, or CASA, and only about one-third of children who were abused or neglected in Colorado last year were lucky enough to get one. Of the more than 13,200 cases of child abuse and neglect in Colorado in 2018, just 4,800 kids were appointed a CASA. That means about 8,400 children were not.


CT: Foster system to alter how it handles school employee abuse
Associated Press – December 30, 2019
Connecticut’s foster care system plans to restructure its evaluation process for complaints of abuse or neglect involving school employees, according to department officials. The state Department of Children and Families will form two units starting in mid-January that will solely focus on complaints against school employees, according to Ken Mysogland, the department’s bureau chief of external affairs. Both units will be staffed by five social workers who will report back to supervisors at the department’s headquarters. Each school case will also be reviewed by agency lawyers.


FL: Melissa Larkin-Skinner appointed by State House Speaker Jose R. Oliva (Press release)
Centerstone – December 30, 2019
Centerstone’s Regional Chief Executive Officer Melissa Larkin-Skinner has been named a member of the Direct Support Organization for the Statewide Council on Human Trafficking by Florida House Speaker Jose R. Oliva. Her appointment is effective immediately and expires October 24, 2021.


NC: New NC law means school workers must be trained to spot signs of sex trafficking (Includes video)
Herald-Sun – December 30, 2019
All North Carolina school districts must pick by Wednesday an employee training program for reporting and preventing child sexual abuse and sex trafficking.


NY: NYC foster care program to get up to $50M in federal funding under spending deal
New York Daily News – December 30, 2019
The city will get up to $50 million in federal funding to help kids in foster care under legislation passed this month as part of the year-end spending bill, officials said. The Family First Transition Act, included in the budget deal signed by President Trump, provides the Administration for Children’s Services with roughly $40 million to $50 million for each of the next two years for a program that aims to reduce the time children spend in the foster care system.


NY: NYC parents overwhelmingly approve of parenting support from child services agency: survey
New York Daily News – December 30, 2019
Therapy and assistance with finding childcare helped parents create better homes for their kids, according to a new survey of vulnerable families referred to the city’s child services agency. Officials at the Administration for Children’s Services, the city’s child protective services agency, surveyed more than 3,000 families who’d received “preventive services” – support given families instead of the immediate placement of children into the foster care system.


SD: Wide-ranging reforms proposed to make S.D. youth treatment homes safer for residents
South Dakota News Watch – December 30, 2019
Governor Kristi Noem has proposed a major overhaul to how South Dakota oversees, inspects and updates the public about conditions in privately run youth homes across the state. Youth treatment facilities in South Dakota would be subjected to far greater state scrutiny and oversight, and public access to inspection and complaint information would be heightened under a series of reforms proposed by Noem.


US: ‘Destroying these kids’: The foster children growing up in detention centers
Wasington Post – December 30, 2019
“We are just destroying these kids. They’re warehoused into emergency shelters, out-of-state institutions and juvenile detention centers, which can cause lifelong emotional trauma – their childhoods spent segregated from the outside world,” said Marcia Lowry, executive director of A Better Childhood (ABC). The nonprofit has filed lawsuits against 10 states alleging that agencies tasked with caring for children instead “infringe upon the rights of its foster children, jeopardizing their most basic needs.” The most recent lawsuit was filed against West Virginia in the fall.


US: A preventative approach to reducing child abuse and neglect fatalities (Opinion)
Hill – December 30, 2019
Based on the commission’s findings, the U.S. Department of Justice’s Office of Victims of Crime announced earlier this year a demonstration initiative to develop multidisciplinary strategies to address severe or near-death injuries as a result of child abuse or neglect. This effort will provide what has been sorely lacking in previous attempts to reduce child fatalities – the identification and evaluation of evidence-based practices.


US: The 2020 Spending Deal: A Full Breakdown of Child Welfare and Juvenile Justice Funding (May require subscription)
Chronicle of Social Change – December 30, 2019
The push to reauthorize CAPTA continues, and advocates for it are hoping that comes with a bigger authorization level. The 2020 spending deal includes a 39 percent bump to the community-based child abuse prevention grants funded under CAPTA, up to $55.6 million from $40 million last year. The state CAPTA grants got a big hike in 2018.


US: Top Stories of 2019: A Youth-Led Effort to Prevent Homelessness for Teens in Foster Care
Chronicle of Social Change – December 30, 2019
Research on youth aging out of the foster care system shows a staggering number of them will experience bouts of homelessness as they shift from state supervision to the sometimes scary independence of adulthood. This year, a group led by current and former foster youths helped craft and implement a new federal policy to help address this problem. The Fostering Stable Housing Opportunities (FSHO) Coalition – which includes youth-led ACTION Ohio and the National Center for Housing and Child Welfare – convinced Housing and Urban Development (HUD) Secretary Ben Carson to free up millions of existing dollars for a targeted voucher that can be used by aging out foster youths to quickly access public housing.
AZ: Huckelberry: Group homes too often call deputies for non-law-enforcement issues – December 28, 2019
Workers at a Vision Quest group home along East River Road called for law enforcement help only twice in 2018. From that same home, however, there were 149 calls for assistance by Nov. 21 of this year, including one in September for a teen with significant disabilities who was video-recorded being tackled and pinned to the ground by a Pima County sheriff’s deputy.


AZ: Mom, dad and 2 kids? It’s time to rethink what family looks like in Arizona (Opinion)
AZCentral – December 28, 2019
Should the traditional definition of family change? If we want strong resilient communities, more than a thousand diverse Arizonans say it should. Arizona Town Hall held more than 20 community town halls throughout the state and a statewide session in mid-November. They were part of a year-long effort by the 57-year-old organization to ask diverse Arizona voices how to keep families strong and allow children to thrive.


CA: & NY: Keeping kids out of cells
San Francisco Chronicle – December 29, 2019
New York’s Close to Home program offers San Francisco a model for juvenile justice reform


CA: Share the Spirit: For Youth Homes, Inc. foster children, dreams occasionally come true
Bay Area News Group – December 29, 2019
It was a pleasant development for Youth Homes, too. The nonprofit organization has been around since 1965, serving the needs foster youth in Contra Costa County. The agency has received funding this year from Share the Spirit, an annual holiday campaign that serves disadvantaged residents in the East Bay. Donations helped support 49 nonprofit agencies in Contra Costa and Alameda counties. The grant will be used to furnish two therapy rooms with furniture, rugs, blankets, pillows, art, therapeutic toys and plants.


CA: New 2020 CA law could provide more stability to foster care youth
KEYT – December 28, 2019
A new 2020 state law is hoping to provide more stability for children in foster care. The legislation would prevent youth from experiencing unnecessary or abrupt changes in placement.


CO: College to open homeless shelter for degree-seeking students
Denver Post – December 29, 2019
In Colorado, it’s unclear exactly how many college students are trying to do their homework without a stable home, The Denver Post reports. Some institutions and national organizations survey students about housing and food insecurity, but the numbers are self-reported with many students never filling out the information. Still, 18% of the 3,011 students surveyed in 2018 at four Denver schools – Community College of Denver, Metropolitan State University of Denver, University of Colorado Denver and the University of Denver – said they experienced homelessness during the previous year, according to a report released in September by the Hope Center for College, Community and Justice at Pennsylvania’s Temple University.


FL: Foster parents: The next millennial trend? Local advocates hope so
Palm Beach Post – December 27, 2019
While some festivals have boosted numbers, it can take years of “nurturing” to turn those relationships into foster families, Reese said. Of the 1,200 children in out-of-home care in November in Palm Beach County, nearly 44 percent were age 4 or younger, according to the most recent Department of Children and Families data available. Of all the children in out-of-home care in Palm Beach County, 372 are in licensed foster care, according to DCF. Another 542 are with an approved relative, and 139 are with an approved nonrelative. About 150 are in group care or have another living situation.


FL: OUR VIEW: All Star Children’s Foundation makes a bright beginning (Opinion)
Herald-Tribune – December 27, 2019
Florida law requires its child protection system to “preserve and strengthen the child’s family ties whenever possible, removing the child from parental custody only when his or her welfare cannot be adequately safeguarded without such removal.” This has to be one of the toughest decisions in the world, often made in a rush to rescue a young victim from apparent harm, and find an empty bed where he or she might be physically safe – but also bewildered, terrified and bereft, torn from a familiarity that felt like home, no matter how dangerous or unpredictable.


GA: Called to Care serves foster children, families
Tifton Gazette – December 28, 2019
Called to Care is a nonprofit focused on serving foster families, foster children and adoptive families, working to meet the needs of the children while supporting caregivers. This year, Called to Care has served around 375 children in Tift and Turner County, according to founder and president Laura Maxwell.


IL: Chicago Psychiatric Hospital Will Lose Federal Money, and Its License Is Threatened After Allegations of Abuse
ProPublica – December 27, 2019
The Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services terminated an agreement and accompanying federal funding for Chicago Lakeshore Hospital, and the Illinois Department of Public Health is moving forward with plans to revoke the facility’s license.


MI: Hashtag Lunchbag serves up food and messages for the homeless
Detroit Free Press – December 29, 2019
The Ann Arbor native now lives in Chicago, working as high school social science teacher. In addition, Washington co-founded the nonprofit Chicago Youth Opportunities Initiative. The organization provides mentorship and prepares foster care children with college and career opportunities.


MI: Michigan child welfare agency is getting a much-needed tech updgrade
Michigan Public Radio – December 29, 2019
The state of Michigan is starting an overhaul of technology used by its child welfare system that critics say is long overdue. The Michigan Department of Health and Human Services is replacing the current Michigan Statewide Automated Child Welfare Information System.


ND: North Dakota youth court program aims to help at-risk youth
Bismarck Tribune – December 28, 2019
North Dakota’s Supreme Court and Department of Human Services have a memorandum of understanding to share information related to children involved in the juvenile justice and child welfare systems. The program is called the Dual Status Youth Initiative, and it aims to prevent youths’ further involvement in the juvenile justice system and to better serve their families.
Also: Tribune editorial: State is right to emphasize helping youth:


NM: Carlsbad, NM, Oil Windfall Makes It Harder to Keep Caseworkers
Youth Today – December 29, 2019
At-risk children and foster youth have been negatively impacted by oil production. Over the last two years, the New Mexico Children, Youth, and Families Department (CYFD) in Eddy County has been called more often to investigate allegations of child abuse and neglect. “With more people living here, there have been more referrals and more kids in foster care,” said Maria Calderon, who works at the Carlsbad and Artesia regional offices of CYFD.


NM: Provider In Las Cruces, NM, Left Stretched Thin After 2013 Ruling
Youth Today – December 29, 2019
Jolene Martinez of Las Cruces couldn’t be more thrilled to be an adoptive parent to a second foster child, who she adopted weeks before Thanksgiving. “The joy for our family is being able to fulfill what we believe in, and that’s to help a child that might not be able to have permanency otherwise,” she said. But for many foster and adoptive families in the state, there are lows with the highs as well as extraordinary challenges. New Mexico children aren’t just one of the state’s most vulnerable populations, they’re also one of the nation’s most challenged groups. In 2017 and 2018, New Mexico ranked 50th nationwide in overall child well-being, according to the Annie E. Casey Foundation Kids Count report.


NM: New Mexico struggles to fix its foster care system
Juvenile Justice Information Exchange – December 28, 2019
Some critics say the state’s child protective services agency, the Children, Youth and Families Department, actually makes life harder for the more than 2,000 kids in state custody. A blistering federal lawsuit against the department, filed by Disability Rights New Mexico and the Native American Disability Law Center, says New Mexico’s emotionally shattered – and sometimes physically battered – foster kids are systematically retraumatized in what the suit calls a “broken” and poorly designed system that’s ill-equipped to rehabilitate them.
Also: In Santa Fe, NM, ‘We’re Not Going to Play the Blame Game’:


NM: Lack of Affordable Housing, Enough Foster Families Hurt Taos, NM, Area
Youth Today – May 29, 2019
It’s November 2019, and the hysteria from the emergency meeting in 2013 is still palpable for Yasmin Haque. After then-New Mexico Gov. Susana Martinez made the call to suspend Medicaid reimbursements to 15 statewide private behavioral health service providers, panicked Taos community members gathered at the former Casa de Corazón. “Everyone was shell-shocked. We all wondered what we were going to do with these families,” said Haque, Court Appointed Special Advocate (CASA) volunteer coordinator at Taos-based child advocacy group Youth Heartline. “It was devastating. I would say we’re still struggling to recover.”


OR: Editorial: Foster care changes a work in progress
Bend Bulletin – December 27, 2019
Oregon’s child welfare services, specifically its foster care services, have been the target of sharp and ongoing criticism in recent months. Too many children – nearly 90 at one point – were being sent out of state for treatment, where they were too often simply forgotten.


RI: Diocese challenges law allowing more time to file suit
Providence Journal – December 27, 2019
The Roman Catholic Diocese of Providence argued in a legal filing that the state’s new deadline to sue over childhood sexual abuse is, in part, unconstitutional. The legal wrangling comes in the first test case after a new state law extended – in some cases retroactively – the deadline to sue over child sexual abuse. A man sued the diocese in September, saying he was abused hundreds of times when he was a child by a North Providence priest in the 1970s and 1980s.


RI: Jackson Reis: Opioid fight faces unique county issues
Berkshire Eagle – December 27, 2019
In recent weeks, news reports of multi-million dollar settlements with opioid manufacturers raised hopes in many rural communities. This newfound optimism, however, fails to account for the underlying structural issues that limit the ability of communities in Berkshire County, among many other rural regions, to successfully manage the opioid epidemic.,593411


TX: As More Mothers Fill Prisons, Children Suffer ‘A Primal Wound’
New York Times – December 29, 2019
Every month, Lila Edwards wakes up early for a two-hour road trip with a group of girls that ends with them walking single file through a metal detector. Inside an empty classroom, Lila eagerly and anxiously awaits Inmate 01740964. When the inmate, a woman serving a 40-year sentence for murder, walked in during a recent visit, Lila collapsed into her arms and didn’t let go for more than a minute.


TX: ‘The face of homelessness that we don’t see is the young face’: New shelter to provide safe haven for homeless Dallas high school students
Dallas Morning News – December 27, 2019
On any given day, Dallas ISD has around 3,500 homeless students. Most of them don’t live on the street, but instead couch surf at relatives’ or friends’ houses, live week-to-week in motels, or have other temporary arrangements.


WA: Seattle Shelter Focuses On Native Peoples Experiencing Homelessness (Includes audio)
WUWF – December 30, 2019
A new homeless shelter in Seattle is exclusively serving Native Americans, Alaska Natives and Pacific Islanders. It’s one of the first facilities of its kind in the country helping to house the more than 1,000 Native people in the city experiencing homelessness. Echohawk says because of the history of mistreatment by the U.S. government a lot of Native people don’t trust traditional government-run shelters. “If you had attended boarding school, for instance, or you were in the foster care system or you were one of those folks who have been forcibly sterilized,” she says, “the likelihood of you going into a shelter which has those same kind of systems, that same kind of feel, it’s unlikely because of how much it will trigger your trauma.”


WV: Foster care agencies may turn away LGBTQ youth, parents if bill passes
Register-Herald – December 27, 2019
In the state with the highest per capita rate of children in state custody in the country, a group of West Virginia lawmakers voted last week to remove a provision of state law that requires LGBTQ children in protective care to have equal access to foster and adoptive families. LGBTQ youth are already at higher risk of being placed in state custody and less likely to find stable homes after they enter the child welfare system.


US: 2020 Should Launch Zero Tolerance on Psychotropic Drugging of Foster Youth (Press release)
PressCable – December 30, 2019
This year highlighted the ongoing psychotropic drugging of foster care children and adolescents despite a decade of exposure of the risks of these drugs, according to Citizens Commission on Human Rights (CCHR) International. The group says 2020 should be the year to launch a government zero tolerance policy to using mind-altering drugs on children, especially those in foster care. Immigrant children being held in psychiatric institutions, including those owned by for-profit companies, deserve the same protections, CCHR says.


US: Paid Parental Leave Regulations Coming Soon
Fed Smith – December 29, 2019
The Office of Personnel Management said in a short memo issued last week that the necessary regulations to implement the new paid parental leave benefit recently signed into law will be coming soon. The new benefit is set to take effect on October 1, 2020 which OPM noted in the memo. That leaves time for OPM to issue the necessary guidance anytime a new benefit such as this is implemented. These regulations are what will spell out exactly how the new paid parental leave benefit will work for federal employees who utilize it. We will continue to keep you updated as new details are released by OPM.


US: Lack of a healthy lunch at school hurts students more than you think
Hill – December 28, 2019
Earlier this year, parents of students in the Wyoming Valley West School District received collection letters on the money they owed for student lunches. According to WNEP, in the letters, the school district wrote, “you can be sent to dependency court for neglecting your child’s right to food. The result may be your child being taken from your home and placed in foster care.”


US: ‘Feeling Like We Belong’: U.S. Adoptees Return To South Korea To Trace Their Roots (Includes audio)
WEAA – December 27, 2019
Kim was among the first wave of a 200,000-strong exodus of adoptees, as South Korea became the world’s first source of international adoptions. She was born in 1955, two years after the Korean War cease-fire. In recent decades, adoptees like Kim have been returning to South Korea to find out more about where they come from, build ties with their birth families and connect with others with similar experiences.


US: Black Mothers Are Treated Less for Postpartum Depression Than Other Moms
Truthout – December 27, 2019
Nationally, postpartum depression affects 1 in 7 mothers. Medical guidelines recommend counseling for all women experiencing postpartum depression, and many women also find relief by taking general antidepressants, such as fluoxetine (Prozac) and sertraline (Zoloft).


US: Hundreds of accused clergy left off church’s sex abuse lists
Associated Press – December 27, 2019
Victims advocates had long criticized the Roman Catholic Church for not making public the names of credibly accused priests. Now, despite the dioceses’ release of nearly 5,300 names, most in the last two years, critics say the lists are far from complete. An AP analysis found more than 900 clergy members accused of child sexual abuse who were missing from lists released by the dioceses and religious orders where they served.


US: More LGBTQ millennials plan to have kids regardless of income, survey finds
NBC News – December 27, 2019
Family Equality polled 500 LGBTQ and 1,004 non-LGBTQ adults, and found that the desire to become parents is nearly identical among both lower- and higher-income lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender and queer people. Forty-five to 53 percent of LGBTQ people between the ages of 18 and 35 are planning to become parents for the first time or add another child to their family (compared to 55 percent for their non-LGBTQ counterparts, a gap that has narrowed significantly compared to older generations).And those making less than $25,000 a year plan to have children at a similar rate to those making over $100,000, according to the report.


US: Fraud Reporting Statute Immunizes Those Reporting (Commentary)
LexBlog – December 26, 2019
Does New York Public Health Law (§) 230 (11) (b) create a private right of action for bad-faith and malicious reporting to the Office of Professional Medical Conduct?


US: Researchers look at factors outside the family that cause child neglect – December 03, 2019
A recent paper by two UConn researchers and their colleagues highlights the importance of examining factors outside the family that contribute to child neglect. This research strategy could help policymakers and social agencies design programs to reduce child maltreatment-specifically, neglect.




Finland: Children born preterm are more likely to be placed outside the home
EurekAlert – December 27, 2019
Children born prematurely, i.e. before week 37, are more likely to be placed outside the home as a supportive child welfare measure than their full-term counterparts, according to a population study conducted by the Finnish Institute for Health and Welfare (THL). The more premature a child is born, the greater the probability that the child will be placed outside the home.


CA: State court revives psychotherapist challenge to law on patients who reveal child porn activity
San Francisco Chronicle – December 26, 2019
The California Supreme Court revived a challenge by psychotherapists Thursday to a state law requiring them to notify the government about any patient who has viewed child pornography. The law, passed in 2014, expanded statutes from the 1980s that required therapists to report to police or child welfare offices – or face loss of their licenses and criminal prosecution – when a patient has produced, distributed or duplicated images of juveniles engaged in sexual activity. The new law extended the requirement to patients who downloaded or viewed those images.


CT: First Chapter in Connecticut: Safe Families for Children Supports Families in Crisis
Town Times – December 26, 2019
Southbury resident Michelle Montague first learned about Safe Families for Children in 2009 when she heard its founder, Dave Anderson, being interviewed on the radio. Three years ago, a chance encounter with a Safe Families volunteer in Maine led her to retire a bit early from her job as a middle school special education teacher in Region 16 and launch Connecticut’s first chapter, right here in Southbury. After two years of gathering volunteers, assembling teams and raising funds, the local chapter officially opened in October and Michelle is ready to spread the word about what Safe Families for Children has to offer.


FL: Non-profits use technology to match families with children in foster care (Includes video)
WPTV – December 26, 2019
A local organization fighting to give foster children their dream of having a family is now using an algorithm-based technology to make that dream come true. Selfless Love Foundation, a non-profit that supports and provides resources to foster children, has partnered with another non-profit that developed Family-Match, a program that allows case workers to match parents looking to adopt with children searching for a forever family.


HI: State deploys new tactic in bid to get suit over Peter Boy Kema’s death tossed (Includes video)
Hawaii News Now – December 26, 2019
The state appears to be relying on a technicality in a bid to avoid a civil lawsuit over the death of Peter Kema, Jr., known as Peter Boy. But the state is arguing the family took too long to file the lawsuit ― 20 years too long.


IL: Illinois child welfare worker in Freund case defends record
Associated Press – December 26, 2019
A state child welfare worker who investigated an abuse claim months before a 5-year-old suburban Chicago boy was found beaten to death has defended his record. Acosta, who is also the subject of a federal lawsuit stemming from the case, said department policy is that children’s statements become less reliable each time they are interviewed. He said he followed protocol in not going back to question the child about the bruise and that the child’s injuries didn’t meet the threshold to get a second opinion from a pediatric specialist.


KS: Oversight panel reports Kansas making progress on juvenile justice reform
Topeka Capital-Journal – December 26, 2019
The panel monitoring juvenile justice reform in Kansas released a new report Thursday that documented progress in the third year of a transition to consistent methods of handling offenders within their communities, while acknowledging challenges with reinvesting millions of dollars of savings into proven interventions. The Juvenile Justice Oversight Committee, which includes legislative, judicial and executive branch representatives as well as people from outside state government, reported progress establishing statewide standards, imposing a prohibition on out-of-home placement for low-risk youths and directing resources to young people at highest risk of committing new crimes.
Also: 2019 Kansas Juvenile Justice Oversight Committee Annual Report:


KY: Boys and Girls Haven readies teens in foster-care for journey into adulthood (Video)
WLKY – December 26, 2019
The independent living program at the Boys and Girls Haven helps 18-year-olds who recommit to the system learn how to be independent and provides them with a support system.


MA: Former Oxford foster children file $40M lawsuit against couple, state over “house of horrors”
Telegram – December 26, 2019
Four former foster children who say they were sexually and physically abused inside the Oxford foster home of Susan and Raymond Blouin are suing the couple and the state for millions. In a 73-page lawsuit that lists damages “in excess of $40 million,” the former children say the Blouin home at 7 Pleasant Court was a “house of horrors” for more than a decade. They allege that the state, despite mounting evidence that the Blouin home was unsafe, continued to allow foster children to live there, and made things worse by conducting sloppy investigations of abuse that resulted in further retribution against kids.


MI: State Taking Donations For Foster Kids Scholarship Fund
WSJM – December 26, 2019
Michigan Department of Treasury is inviting everyone to contribute to the Fostering Futures Scholarship Trust Fund. The fund provides college scholarships to young adults who have experienced foster care and are enrolled at a Michigan college or university. Michigan Education Trust Director Robin Lott tells WSJM News kids in foster care face obstacles to higher education.


MS: Child welfare agency received calls about Jakie Toole before his death
Associated Press/WTOK – December 26, 2019
Mississippi’s child welfare agency said it received seven calls between 2014 and 2017 about the family of a Meridian boy with special medical needs. But the Department of Child Protection Services says it had no contact with the family after 2017.
Also: Agency had previous contact with family of child who died:


OH: Children’s Trust Fund Grant Aims to Help Families in 3 Ohio Counties (Includes video)
Spectrum News 1 – December 26, 2019
A newly-announced grant for a few Ohio counties hopes to help families at risk of becoming part of the child welfare system. Children services officials say the Ohio Children’s Trust Fund grant for Trumbull, Mahoning and Columbiana Counties can address potential issues before they become serious. The $2.7 million grant would give each county a family coach to help with needs like financial planning and behavioral health resources.


OH: Kent State to help children in foster care get to college
Record-Courier – December 26, 2019
Kent State University’s resolution for 2020 is to help children in the foster care system in northeast Ohio realize they can succeed once they age out of the system, usually at age 18 or 21. Eighth-graders who have been placed into foster care and have been affected by the opioid crisis in nine northeast Ohio counties – Portage, Summit, Cuyahoga, Stark, Ashtabula, Tuscarawas, Geauga, Columbiana and Mahoning – will be eligible for First Star – Kent State Academy, which will provide extra support and tutoring so they can be ready to attend college, the military or to get a job after graduating from high school. Kent State plans to accept between 20 and 30 children into the program, depending on how many apply, and they’ll have support throughout the rest of high school.


PA: Living United: Giving children a voice through best-interest advocacy – December 26, 2019
Each year, a half million abused and neglected children are in need of a safe, permanent, nurturing home. Susquehanna Valley CASA – Voices for Children, a program partner of the Lycoming County and Greater Susquehanna Valley United Ways, trains and supports everyday citizens to fight for abused and neglected children.


PA: Pennsylvania Dioceses Offer $84M to 564 Clergy Abuse Victims (Includes video)
NBC4 – December 26, 2019
Pennsylvania’s Roman Catholic dioceses have paid nearly $84 million to 564 victims of sexual abuse, a tally that’s sure to grow substantially in the new year as compensation fund administrators work through a backlog of claims, according to an Associated Press review.
Also: Report: Pennsylvania priests molested over 1,000 children:,000-children


TX: New center in North Austin opening to help foster families (Includes video)
KVUE – December 26, 2019
Foster Village will open a new location in North Austin to help provide access to their resources for the four counties that utilize their support services. The center provides resources like cribs, beds, strollers, clothing, backpacks and more therapy-oriented items, to caretakers in order to help them provide for their foster children. Since its opening, it has expanded to two more centers in the Central Texas area and multiple affiliate locations across the U.S.


US: Top Stories of 2019: The Loss of a Lion in Child Welfare (Commentary)
Chronicle of Social Change – December 26, 2019
Will there ever be another MaryLee Allen in the youth policy field? Allen, the policy director at Children’s Defense Fund who passed away this year, was intensely involved in virtually every federal policy shift for the past four decades. But her legacy is more than just laws passed and defeated. The reaction to her passing made clear that Allen worked harder than anyone to mentor and educate the next generation of advocates for America’s most vulnerable kids.


AZ: Faces of child welfare | Catrina Popelier: ‘You take care of the mom, you take care of the baby’
Arizona Republic – December 24, 2019
Catrina Popelier is a nurse, but banish the mental image of hospital scrubs or a starched-white uniform. She’s most likely to be found in blue jeans, all the better to crawl around on the floor with the babies and toddlers she deals with in her role as a nurse-family practitioner.


CA: New Program Works to Keep Girls Out of Jail (Includes audio)
Public News Service – December 26, 2019
A movement is afoot to reduce the number of teenage girls behind bars to zero, led by a coalition of juvenile justice reform groups, judges, attorneys and probation officers. Santa Clara County is one of five sites nationwide taking part in the initiative launched by the Vera Institute of Justice.
Also: About The Initiative to End Girls’ Incarceration:
Also: Girls Matter: Centering Gender in Status Offense Reform Efforts:
Also: Afterschool Key to Preventing Juvenile Crime, But Too Often Isn’t Available (Commentary):
Also: From Risk to Opportunity: Afterschool Programs Keep Kids Safe:


IL: New Illinois DCFS guidelines take effect in 2020
WIFR – December 24, 2019
Reforms are coming for the Illinois Department of Child and Family Services in 2020. A new law, passed as HB 1551, sets new guidelines for the Illinois DCFS when a child is returned to the custody of a parent or guardian. Among the reforms, DCFS must provide a minimum of six months of aftercare services once the child returns home.


IL: Chicago Is Making the Case for Releasing Pregnant Inmates
Route Fifty – December 23, 2019
Women in jail typically have limited prenatal support and return to custody soon after giving birth. One program is testing a different approach.


MI: Here’s why MSU is keeping 6,000 documents from Nassar investigators (Includes audio)
Michigan Public Radio – December 25, 2019
Michigan State University is still refusing to hand over some 6,000 internal documents to special investigators, saying they’re protected under attorney-client privilege. Ironically, those are the same investigators the trustees actually requested to come look into the Nassar case last year.


MI: Officer launches non-profit to help homeless, foster care children
Davison Index – December 25, 2019
Hart said she hasn’t had any luck in finding a place in Davison that will give her space. She said potential landlords should know the space can be donated as a tax write-off due to Hart’s Closet’s non-profit status. She said when she was a child she lived in shelters, her family’s car and at a hotel off and on for several years. It was that experience, coupled with her experiences as a police officer and seeing children removed from homes, that led her to found Hart’s Closet.


MI: Opinion: Launch Michigan should make bolder call for education equity (Opinion)
Detroit News – December 25, 2019
Last week, the Launch Michigan campaign released its “Phase 1” proposal for statewide educational reform, which includes a weighted funding formula that would give extra per-pupil funding for students in poverty. As a former Detroit Public Schools teacher and a current educational policy researcher in Detroit, I support the call for more equitable funding. The problem is that Launch Michigan’s call does not go far enough.


NM: Human trafficking takes toll on Native women, girls in New Mexico
Searchlight New Mexico – December 25, 2019
Eva was among the thousands of human trafficking victims targeted and exploited in the U.S. every year, of whom only 10 percent are ever identified. In New Mexico, a mere 160 cases have been opened since 2016. And while Native Americans make up about 11 percent of the state’s population, they account for nearly a quarter of trafficking victims, according to data compiled from service organizations.


NM: More youth in New Mexico run away from foster care
Associated Press – December 25, 2019
In her youth, Micaela Baca ran away from foster care again and again. Now, the 23-year-old advocates for better treatment for vulnerable youth, and she shares her story with foster kids to tell them just how dangerous it was for her. “I feel like foster youth are more in danger because we feel like no one is going to believe us or protect us from anything,” she said. “We get ourselves into some pretty sticky situations, but it’s because we feel like we have no way out.”


NY: Maternal nursing program aids parents
Observer – December 26, 2019
The Nurse Family Partnership program began in 2015 and consists of five nurses who work specifically with first-time mothers from pregnancy until the child is 2 years old. The Maternal, Infant and Child Health Program began in 2012 and is a peer education program where community health workers are trained by the state Health Department. Then, they go into homes and work with high-risk pregnant women to provide education, make referrals and give support. Mothers can be referred to the program by schools, CPS, WIC, obstetricians and other means. Both programs require either Medicaid or WIC eligibility to participate.


OH: ‘They’re My Safe Place’: Children of Addicted Parents, Raised by Relatives
New York Times – December 26, 2019
More than a quarter of the nearly 27,000 children who were removed from their homes last year in Ohio were placed in the care of relatives or other adults deemed “kinship” – coaches, teachers or family friends. From 2010 to 2018, the number of Ohio children placed in kinship homes increased by nearly 140 percent, with a nearly 50 percent surge from 2016 to 2018 alone.


OH: Courts Work to Lower Ohio’s High Rate of Girls in Detention (Includes audio)
Public News Service – December 26, 2019
Ohio ranks in the top eight states nationwide for the number of girls in youth detention facilities, and Cuyahoga County is now working to change that. Bridget Gibbons, director of programming for the Cuyahoga County Juvenile Court, says her colleagues began by reviewing the records of girls from the Cleveland area who were on the radar of the state’s Department of Youth Services. She said they discovered some common themes.
Also: About The Initiative to End Girls’ Incarceration:
Also: Girls Matter: Centering Gender in Status Offense Reform Efforts:


TN: Most Incarcerated Girls Have Experienced Abuse, Says TN Juvenile Court (Includes audio)
Public News Service – December 26, 2019
The juvenile court in Davidson County is spearheading an effort to reduce the number of girls and gender-nonconforming young people who end up behind bars. The court is emphasizing a trauma-informed approach, as part of the Initiative to End Girls’ Incarceration by the Vera Institute of Justice, which aims to meet its goal nationwide within the next decade.
Also: About The Initiative to End Girls’ Incarceration:
Also: Girls Matter: Centering Gender in Status Offense Reform Efforts:


WA: State money to help struggling students pay bills, stay in school
Courier-Herald – December 24, 2019
The Washington State Board for Community and Technical Colleges has awarded nearly $2 million for colleges to help financially struggling students stay in school and complete their degrees. The awards were made possible by two grant programs established by the state Legislature during the 2019 legislative session. The Supporting Students Experiencing Homelessness Pilot Program, established under SB 5800, creates six pilot projects for students who are homeless or were in foster care.


WI: Group home for LGBT teens reflects on its first year (Includes video)
WTMJ – December 24, 2019
As 2019 comes to an end, Courage MKE looks back at the year with grateful hearts. Nearly a year ago, the Milwaukee non-profit opened Courage House, Wisconsin’s first group home for displaced LGBT teens.


WV: Foster Child Advocates Ask Court To Reject State’s Motion to Dismiss
Intelligencer Wheeling News Register – December 25, 2019
Attorneys for national foster child advocacy organization, A Better Childhood, along with Disability Rights of West Virginia and the Shaffer and Shaffer law firm filed responses Monday to a motion to dismiss filed by the state Department of Health and Human Resources Nov. 27 and a motion to stay discovery filed by DHHR Dec. 9.


WV: Survey reveals another gap in foster care system
Herald-Dispatch (Huntington) – December 25, 2019
West Virginia’s system for caring for nearly 7,000 children now in state custody increasingly has been under the microscope – partly because the number of foster children has grown markedly in recent years, one of the fallouts from the opioid epidemic.
Also: No room at the inn for hate, discrimination (Opinion):


US: ADHD: researcher calls for rethinking: stop treating ADHD with medication
Aarchynewsy – December 26, 2019
“ADHD is not a disease!” Says Amrei Wittwer. Therefore, according to the expert for ADHD and pain research, no medical treatment can help either. In her book she presents alternative therapeutic approaches. Here the author summarizes the most important statements.


US: Top Stories of 2019: A Big Year for Parent Representation
Chronicle of Social Change – December 25, 2019
At the dawn of 2019, the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services opened up federal spending for the first time to support legal fees for parents involved in child welfare cases. And in the spring, a long-awaited study linked the use of interdisciplinary law offices – a robust team approach to representing parents – with shorter stays in foster care for children.


US: Adopted Children – Rehoming Legal Issues – December 24, 2019
Some adopted children will face situations where the biological parents want the youth to return home for some reason. The adoption paperwork may undergo a loss of consent. While the current adoption process may require a court case to dissolve the relationship, the child may suffer from the loss of his or her current family. Both legal and traumatic impact is possible that cause the young person injury. The legal aspects could tie up the adoption and biological parents in a case that could take years. If the youth is not able to stay with his or her adoptive family, this could further increase difficulties that could affect school and temperament.


US: Top Stories of 2019: The Faith-Based Battle Comes to Washington (Commentary)
Chronicle of Social Change – December 24, 2019
In 2018, three states – Kansas, Oklahoma and South Carolina – passed legislation that permits discrimination by faith-based child welfare providers in choosing who they serve. Those three join seven other states that let government-funded providers choose clients based on sexual orientation, marital status or religion. Legal battles over the legislation have already started in some states, and advocacy groups in other ones are contemplating similar challenges. The issue of using taxpayer dollars for child welfare services, but following religiously-influenced selection processes, seems destined for the Supreme Court one day.


US: Behind the troubling rise of uninsured American kids (Includes video)
PBS – December 23, 2019
Over a million children have fallen out of public health insurance programs since December 2017. In some cases, their parents acquired coverage at work. But researchers also see a troubling rise in uninsured children — and say the Trump administration’s policies are partially to blame. Special correspondent Sarah Varney reports from Tennessee, where the rate of uninsured kids has soared.




Ghana: Islam does not condone child marriage – UWR Chief Imam
Ghana News – December 24, 2019
Imam Alhaji Kanihi who stated this in an exclusive interview with the Ghana News Agency in Wa, pointed out clearly that the practice was still in effect today but stressed that the man only shares bed with such a girl when she attained the age of maturity as was in the case of Prophet Mohammed and Ayisha. He emphasized that even such a girl had the right to refuse to marry the man when she becomes of age, stressing that it was not compulsory for the girl to still go ahead to marry the man if she did not like him.


International: Ten Feminist Victories Heard Around the World from the Last 10 Years
Ms. Magazine – December 24, 2019
Women around the world fought hard to expand their rights over the last decade-and made significant gains in many areas, including political representation, reproductive health and combatting violence against women. In 2012, the UN passed a resolution outlawing female genital mutilation and declared the first UN Day of the Girl on October 11 to highlight the challenges and needs of girls and women across the world. Child marriage declined around the world over the last decade.


Saudi Arabia: Saudi Arabia moves to ban child marriage with a new ruling
National (United Arab Emirates) – December 23, 2019
Saudi Arabia on Monday issued a de facto ban on child marriages, in another social reform initiated since Mohammad Bin Salman became crown prince two years ago. The Justice Ministry issued an order to the courts that any marriage application for someone under the age of 18 would have to be referred to a special court to make sure that “marrying those below 18-years old will not harm them and will achieve their best interest, whether they are male or female”.


Vietnam: PM approves national action plan on prevention of child violence, abuse
Vietnam Plus – December 25, 2019
Prime Minister Nguyen Xuan Phuc has approved the national action plan on preventing and combating violence and abuse of children in the 2020-2025 period.


CA: & US: New federal program hopes to prevent homelessness in young adults aging out of the foster care system
Los Angeles Times – December 23, 2019
The Santa Ana Housing Authority, in partnership with the Orange County Social Services Agency, secured vouchers that provide rent support for Christian and 14 other former foster kids under the Foster Youth to Independence program, an initiative of the Housing and Urban Development department. The HUD program is providing 24,000 vouchers to young adults across the nation who left the foster care system, mostly within the last year. The U.S. Department of Health and Human Services estimates that more than 23,000 young people age out of foster care each year.
Also: Report: State of Homelessness in America:


IL: A Chicago Psychiatric Hospital Is Under Fire After Child Abuse Allegations. Again.
ProPublica Illinois – December 18, 2019
A federal lawsuit filed Wednesday by the Cook County public guardian alleged that children as young as 7 were sexually abused, while others were injected with sedatives to control them and physically attacked, at a Chicago psychiatric hospital. Child welfare officials, meanwhile, allegedly worked with the hospital to cover up the abuse.


KS: & OK: Grandmother accused of leaving autistic grandson at Kansas rest stop, charged in third state
KVOE Radio/WIBW – December 24, 2019
An Oklahoma grandmother accused of leaving her autistic grandson at Kansas rest stop, is now facing charges in a third state. Gill was charged with child endangerment and interference with law enforcement in Kansas. She was later charged with child neglect in Rogers County, Oklahoma.–566450771.html?ref=771


MA: Massachusetts has a blueprint for what’s next in criminal justice reform (Includes video)
NBC – December 24, 2019
Lawmakers who worked on the bill said it has helped the state move away from incarceration as punishment and reduce racial disparities in the criminal justice system. Smith said that data is limited, but his organization has found that delinquency court filings are down 33 percent and juvenile arrests, 32 percent.


MA: After nearly 20 years, secrets in Oxford foster home come to light (Includes video)
WCVB – December 23, 2019
For a two-year period ending in October 2004, the state Department of Social Services, now called the Department of Children and Families, received at least 11 reports alleging abuse — known as 51As — in the Blouin home. Nine of them were supported, meaning the state found reasonable cause to believe a child suffered abuse or neglect, yet it wasn’t until October 2004 that the last child was removed from the home, according to a civil suit filed against the Blouins, DCF and others.
Also: More red flags, concerns raised amid horrific child abuse case (Video):


TX: Texas agrees to caseload ‘guidelines’ for CPS foster care workers who’ve been slammed
Dallas Morning News – December 23, 2019
Texas has agreed to guidelines for trying to reduce workloads for three types of state employees who touch the lives of foster children. Under the deal, the Department of Family and Protective Services will embrace an internal caseload standard calling for each Child Protective Services “conservatorship caseworker” to oversee between 14 and 17 children in state care.


US: Top Stories of 2019: The Indian Child Welfare Act Under Fire (Commentary)
Chronicle of Social Change – December 23, 2019
Forty-one years ago, Congress approved the Indian Child Welfare Act (ICWA) after years of painstaking research and activism revealed that up to 30 percent of all Native American children had been removed from their parents by state and local governments, and were often placed into the homes of white families. ICWA has been challenged in court numerous times, most recently in the 2018 case Brackeen v. Zinke, which called into question the law’s connection to sovereignty as opposed to race. This year saw a number of developments in the Brackeen case.




Armenia: Four Arrested in Ongoing Illegal International Adoption Investigation
Armenia Weekly – December 23, 2019
The Investigative Committee of Armenia arrested three civil servants late last week in connection with the National Security Service’s (NSS) ongoing investigation into illegal international adoptions. Officials arrested Liana Karapetyan, the director of a Yerevan orphanage; Razmik Abrahamyan, the director of the Republican Maternity Hospital; and Arshak Jerjeryan, Abrahamyan’s deputy director at the hospital. Abrahamyan had also served as head Obstetrician and Gynecologist of Armenia for several years.


Romania: & United Kingdom: Romanian court upholds acquittal of UK trafficking suspects
BBC – December 23, 2019
A Romanian court has upheld the acquittals of 25 men accused of running a major child-trafficking operation. The men were arrested in 2010 as part of a large joint operation with British police – where children were rescued in London raids.
Also: Romanian Verdict Acquitting Alleged Roma Child Traffickers Condemned:


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