child welfare in the news

recent news articles

  • DE: Bills helping foster kids become law
    Delaware State News - Aug 18, 2017 -- Gov. John Carney signed into law Thursday two bills giving foster children expanded opportunities. Senate Bill 56 provides liability protections for foster parents and guardians, while Senate Bill 42 allows individuals to add foster children to their car insurance.
  • KY: State's first-ever 'adoption czar' re-imagining system (Includes video)
    WLKY - Aug 17, 2017 -- Dumas said the state needs to employ better technology, and revamp the way it does background checks. And perhaps the toughest challenge: helping kids before they're in the system. "Prevention is a big piece and we haven't done a good job at prevention, that's an area we need to focus on," Dumas said.
  • MA: Governor defends DCF treatment of foster families (Includes video)
    WCVB TV - Aug 17, 2017 -- John and Meg DeMalia were hosting a foster child and had four biological children when DCF launched an emergency response based on scant evidence of abuse. That response led to their four biological children being strip-searched at night, traumatizing them.
  • MD: Cities Enlist 'Doulas' to Reduce Infant Mortality
    Pew Charitable Trusts - Aug 17, 2017 -- The doula initiative is the latest salvo in the Baltimore City Health Department's 7-year-old program to combat high infant mortality rates among black newborns. "The impetus for this program is the huge disparity in infant mortality between blacks and whites born in this city," said Stacey Tuck, maternal and child health director at the department. Baltimore is not alone. New York, Chicago and Tampa have also used doula training programs to improve newborn health.
  • MI: Mistake may have put child at risk in kidnapping (Includes video)
    WOOD TV - Aug 17, 2017 -- The Office of Children's Ombudsman, a state watchdog, criticized Bethany Christian Services for allowing the child's father to have unsupervised parenting time with the 2-year-old.
  • MS: Shelter opens for victims of human trafficking (Includes video)
    WAPT - Aug 17, 2017 -- The Center for Violence Prevention announced the opening Wednesday of Tower, Mississippi's human trafficking shelter. Sandy Middleton, executive director of the center, joined with local law enforcement to emphasize the need for a shelter specifically for victims of human trafficking.
  • NH: Bill Paves Way for Grandfamilies Affected by the Opioid Crisis
    Chronicle of Social Change - Aug 17, 2017 -- In June, New Hampshire Governor Chris Sununu signed House Bill 629 into law. The bill gives legal preference to grandparents - over other family members or nonfamily members - in guardianship cases where substance abuse is involved.
  • NY: Foster Care as Punishment? A Case of Biased Reporting by the New York Times (Opinion)
    Chronicle of Social Change - Aug 17, 2017 -- The reporters' fixation on child removals ignores the overall trend in New York City away from placing children in foster care and toward providing supportive services to families while the children remain at home. The total number of children in foster care in the city has fallen from an average of 16,031 in 2007 to 9,041 in May 2017, according to data provided to this writer by ACS.
  • OK: Former Oklahoma County juvenile shelter to offer services for children, parents in foster care system
    Oklahoman - Aug 18, 2017 -- Following a $2 million renovation, the building will house coordinated care services for families coming into the foster care system, Shropshire said. Families will be assessed by a group of professionals to determine what the children need and what the parents need.
  • PA: For traumatized teens, 'special' foster parents needed
    Morning Call - Aug 17, 2017 -- Finding someone willing to foster a teen or young adult is already difficult, said Kevin Dolan, administrator of Northampton County's Division of Children, Youth and Families, which contracts with the Children's Home of Reading. Add the kinds of behavioral issues common among the kids in Specialized Foster Care - anger, aggression, acting out sexually - and the search can become frustrating.
  • PA: Mentors make all the difference when a child's parent goes to jail, advocates say in Lancaster
    Lancaster Online - Aug 17, 2017 -- Bethany Christian Services, best known for its adoption and foster care services, hopes to have 10 Lancaster County children of incarcerated parents matched with mentors by the end of the year. The agency also is aiming for 10 matches each in Dauphin and York counties
  • TX: CPS 'suspends' relationship with West Texas Rehab after 2 arrested for falsifying drug tests (Includes video)
    KTXS-TV - Aug 17, 2017 -- "CPS has completed nearly 150 safety checks of children who may have had contact with a family member who took a drug test at this facility," Gonzales said. "We are confident no children were harmed."
  • TX: Detention of unaccompanied children, families rise
    El Paso Times - Aug 17, 2017 -- From October to July, apprehensions of families in the El Paso Sector increased 109 percent when compared with the same period last fiscal year. Meanwhile, apprehensions of unaccompanied children went up 12 percent, according to the report.
  • TX: New School Year Can Mean Increase in Child Abuse & Neglect Reports
    Elgin Courier - Aug 17, 2017 -- In 2016, schools were the most common source of child abuse or neglect reports made to the Department of Family and Protective Services (DFPS). Of the more than 293,000 reports - a significant increase from last year - a total of 56,980 allegations were from school officials.
  • US: Muslims in foster care need exposure
    Arab American News - Aug 18, 2017 -- The Muslim Foster Care Association (MFCA) is a nonprofit founded in 2015 by Ranya Shbeib and Sameena Zahoor that assists Muslims in the foster care system, and also facilitates licensure for parents wanting foster children.
  • US: Golden glow gone amid scandal, USA Gymnastics faces change
    Columbus Republic - Aug 17, 2017 -- Less than two months removed from Daniels' report, there are signs of progress. National team members who fly into Houston for training camps must be escorted to the camp with at least two other people along for the ride to avoid any one-on-one interaction. Underage female gymnasts with male coaches who are picked to compete internationally must now travel with a credentialed female chaperone. One-on-one visits to cabins the athletes use during overnight stays by medical staff is now prohibited.
  • US: States Work To Keep Opioid Epidemic From Splitting Up Families
    Kaiser Health News - Aug 17, 2017 -- The problem has led states to invest in new approaches, linking drug treatment with efforts to keep families together - a bid to tackle both substance abuse problems and reduce the burden on other parts of the safety net.
  • US: When the Government Rules by Software, Citizens are Left in the Dark
    Wired - Aug 17, 2017 -- Some scholars and activists want governments to reveal the code behind their algorithms, a tough ask because they are often commercial products. Goodman thinks it's more urgent that the public knows how an algorithm was chosen, developed, and tested-for example how sensitive it is to false positives and negatives. That's no break from the past, she argues, because citizens have always been able to ask for information about how new policy was devised and implemented. Some municipalities were more forthcoming. Allegheny County in Pennsylvania produced a report describing the development and testing of an algorithm that helps child-welfare workers decide whether to formally investigate new reports of child maltreatment, for example.
  • US: In a step toward fighting human trafficking, sex ads are linked to Bitcoin data
    Berkeley News - Aug 16, 2017 -- "Sex trafficking of children hides in plain sight within the vast online escort environment. It's difficult for investigators to sift through the mounds of data and figure out what is important and what is not when looking for a child," said Julie Cordua, CEO of Thorn. "This type of research is critical to advancing this work and helping investigators find children faster and reduce the time in trauma. We're grateful to academics and researchers who are willing to lend their time and talent to this issue to help find new solutions that move this work forward."
  • Japan: A Third of Mothers Neglected Prenatal Checkups in Child Abuse Death Cases
    Jiji Press - Aug 18, 2017 -- An experts' panel investigating fatal child abuse cases in Japan in fiscal 2015 reported Thursday that over 30% of the mothers of the dead children did not receive checkups during their pregnancies.
  • Japan: Foster family and adoption system needs greater support to expand
    Japan News - Aug 18, 2017 -- Strengthening consultation and support services will be essential for increasing the number of households willing to take in children. Not a few children are difficult to raise, as they may have mental and physical development problems due to abuse or other reasons. The nation needs a system that is consistently implemented, from advertising for and training foster parents to providing support after a child has been placed in their home.

related series

Fatal Care: A Special Series from the Edmonton Journal-Calgary Herald

The Alberta government has dramatically under-reported the number of child welfare deaths over the past decade, undermining public accountability and thwarting efforts at prevention and reform. A six-month Edmonton Journal-Calgary Herald investigation found 145 foster children have died since 1999, nearly triple the 56 deaths revealed in government annual reports over the same period.

Read more at the Edmonton Journal-Calgary Herald.

Private foster care system, intended to save children, endangers some

private foster care LA image

Extensive multi-part series examining foster care privatization, federal fiscal incentives, and more. By Los Angeles Times journalist Garrett Therolf. Dec 2013

Read on LA Times . . .

Drugging Our Kids | San Jose Mercury News

drugging our kids

A Bay Area News Group investigation reveals that children in California’s foster care system are prescribed unproven, risky medications at alarming rates. This series exposes the pharmaceutical industry’s close ties to favored foster care providers, and this series led to recent legislative hearings.

Read on San Jose Mercury News

Handle With Care: In this exclusive six-part series, Leader-Post reporter Barb Pacholik examines Saskatchewan’s child welfare system.

handle with care

Within months of her apprehension by Social Services, Karen Rose Quill’s life ended — one of roughly 500 children and youth who have died in Saskatchewan’s complex and overburdened child welfare system in the past two decades. A quarter of the kids were in Social Services’ care when they died, the remainder in receipt of its services within the year prior. According to overall numbers from Social Services, about 40 per cent of those young lives ended by natural causes, but an equal number were preventable deaths, victims of homicide or accidents, like Karen.

Read on Leader-Post . . .

Native Foster Care: Lost Children, Shattered Families

npr icwa series

Nearly 700 Native American children in South Dakota are being removed from their homes every year, sometimes under questionable circumstances. An NPR News investigation has found that the state is largely failing to place them according to the law. The vast majority of native kids in foster care in South Dakota are in nonnative homes or group homes, according to an NPR analysis of state records.

Read series at NPR.

Failing the Disabled: How Minnesota isolates and marginalizes thousands of adults with disabilities

Disabled in Minnesota Series

Set up to be safe havens, some group homes for the disabled have become remote “prisons,” where residents are vulnerable to violence and neglect. Thousands of disabled Minnesotans languish on waiting lists for crucial services even as millions of dollars remain unspent.

Read series at the Star Tribune.

Ontario Children’s Aid officials seek court order to seize kids from orthodox Jewish group

lev tahor children

MONTREAL—Ontario Children’s Aid authorities have launched a legal battle to seize custody of 14 child members of the ultra-orthodox Jewish sect Lev Tahor and send them into foster care in Quebec. As of December 2013, the situation was unresolved, and had grown into an international incident.

Read more . . .

Manitoba – Mennonite Families Still Reeling from Child Removals

Between January and June of 2013, child protection officials raided a Mennonite community in Manitoba, removing between 40 and 50 children from 15 families, placing them all in foster care. Since then, their parents and community leaders have been negotiating with Children and Family Services officials hoping to have the children returned.

Read more . . .

Child Protection: The Hard Truth
News Focus: Delonna Sullivan

Delonna Victoria Sullivan was “apprehended” without a court order on April 5, 2011. She died in foster care only six days later. Hospital and autopsy records showed that the 4-month-old had been dosed with Tylenol and cough medicine. Her family seeks justice to this day.

Read more . . .

Saving Arizona’s Children

foster care saving children image

A year ago, Arizona’s broken child-welfare system and the children it’s supposed to protect were the focus of intense debate, with politicians and experts searching for solutions to intractable problems.

Read on Arizona Central . . .

Seeking a Safe Haven: An Albuquerque Journal Special Report

safe haven image

Thousands of children are abused or neglected each year in New Mexico. A Journal investigation found some children are kept in abusive families too long, while others are sent to foster homes where new abuse occurs. Critics say problems are getting worse, while Child Protective Services promises to strengthen the net.

Published in 1997, yet it remains relevant.Read on Albuquerque Journal . . .