child welfare in the news

recent news articles

  • AL: Opinion: Juvenile justice reform will give judges options to help young people change course (Includes video)
    Montgomery Advertiser - Mar 22, 2018 -- Multisystemic Therapy program (MST) is a home-based, family-driven treatment model for youth involved in the juvenile justice system. Time and time again, it's been proven to reduce anti-social behavior and recidivism through three decades of clinical research. Legislation being considered this week would bring juvenile justice reform to the state and make programs like MST available to more young people and families throughout Alabama. Last week, HB225 supporting this vital reform was passed by the House of Representatives, and the Senate now is considering SB148.
  • AZ: SB1452 would hurt the children it is meant to help (Opinion)
    Arizona Capitol Times - Mar 22, 2018 -- And when researchers studied children born with cocaine in their systems; one group placed in foster care, another left with birth mothers able to care for them, the results were stunning: After six months, the children left with their birth mothers typically did better on standard measures of infant development. For the foster children, the separation from their mothers was more toxic than the cocaine.
  • CA: Grand Jury Questions Case Loads For Child Welfare Social Workers In Ventura County
    KCLU - Mar 22, 2018 -- Now, a new report by the 2017-2018 Grand Jury is questioning the county's response. The Grand Jury says the agency lacks clear cut standards, and that the way the statistics are used mask excessive caseloads. The report also asserts that the hiring of more social workers, and a multi-year drop in the number of cases should have helped ease the caseload issue.
  • CA: Homeless families have a friend at Morongo Unified School District
    Hi-Desert Star - Mar 21, 2018 -- An outreach coordinator for Morongo Unified School District, Hamilton's job description is deceptively simple: to make sure homeless children are getting an education. To meet that goal, however, takes working in a web of nonprofits and government agencies, tugging on strings and urging families along to help their children. He was hired 13 years ago under the McKinney-Vento Homeless Assistance Act. This federal law requires school districts to make sure homeless or unaccompanied children up to 21 years old have equal access to education.
  • CA: Jehovah's Witness abuse files remain secret after court settlements
    Reveal from the Center for Investigative Journalism - Mar 21, 2018 -- Judges in both cases had penalized the Watchtower millions of dollars for refusing to hand over documents detailing the organization's knowledge of child sexual abuse going back decades in congregations across the U.S. The documents contain the names of what are likely thousands of abusers who were never reported to police. Instead, congregation leaders sent detailed logs of alleged abusers to headquarters.
  • IN: Governor signs 4 laws combatting Indiana's opioid crisis
    Seymour Tribune - Mar 22, 2018 -- Like many states, Indiana has been struggling to contain the opioid epidemic, which has caused the number of overdose deaths to skyrocket and has led to a surge of children in foster care.
  • KS: Editorial: Adoption bill a terrible idea
    Lawrence Journal-World - Mar 23, 2018 -- The Adoption Protection Act bills should never make it out of committee. Hopefully, lawmakers recognize the chilling message it would send if they approve a bill giving organizations permission to openly discriminate against families in the adoption process.
  • KY: Seeking justice for victims of online sex trafficking (Commentary)
    Kentucky Today - Mar 22, 2018 -- Last year, 82 cases of human trafficking were reported to helplines in Kentucky, and more than 400 cases have been reported in our state since 2007, according to the National Human Trafficking Hotline. Throughout the country, the hotline saw a staggering 13% increase in cases last year alone. That spike has materialized, in large part, because of the growth of sex trafficking online. It's past time to take action to stop the perpetrators of online trafficking and give the victims and their families the justice they deserve.
  • LA: Housing Plan for Foster Care Youth Moves Forward Thanks to $386K Grant (Press release)
    Business Wire - Mar 22, 2018 -- MacDonnell United Methodist Children's Services will convert the vacant Keener building on its Houma, Louisiana, campus into 10 apartment units to be occupied by children who have aged out of the state's foster care system. The Keener Renovation for Aging Out Youth project was made possible thanks to a $386,640 Affordable Housing Program (AHP) grant from Synergy Bank and the Federal Home Loan Bank of Dallas (FHLB Dallas). Renovations are expected to begin in May.
  • MT: Governor Bullock Announces New Partnership to Provide Consultation on Complex Child Protection Cases (Press release)
    State of Montana Newsroom - Mar 22, 2018 -- Governor Steve Bullock today announced a new partnership with Billings Clinic, the University of Montana's Center for Children, Families and Workforce Development, and the Department of Public Health and Human Services (DPHHS) to provide case consultation on complex child protection cases.
  • NC: State officials assume operations of Cherokee County child welfare services
    Fetch Your News - Mar 22, 2018 -- According to a statement from Kelly Haight, press assistant for the NCDHHS office of communications, "DHHS initiated an investigation of child welfare services in Cherokee County after learning that the Cherokee Department of Social Services had been using 'Custody and Visitation Agreements' in removing children from parents and placing them in other homes without the required oversight of the court system. Subsequent information gathered during DHHS' investigation revealed a systematic lack of adequate training, supervision and capacity to deliver appropriate child welfare services beyond the use of the Custody and Visitation Agreements."
  • NC: Child welfare, foster care and civil liberties: When CPS resorts to blackmail (Commentary)
    NCCPR Child Welfare Blog - Mar 19, 2018 -- Reporters in North Carolina exposed the practice of child welfare agencies blackmailing families into giving up all their rights and letting them take away children with no court review at all.
  • NY: ACS, Foster Care Task Force issue 16 reform recommendations (Includes video)
    WABC - Mar 22, 2018 -- The Administration for Children's Services (ACS) and New York City's Foster Care Task Force have announced 16 recommendations aimed at making improvements in foster care.
  • NY: Head of child welfare agency says cuts could hurt foster kids
    New York Post - Mar 22, 2018 -- The head of the city's child welfare agency called on state officials Thursday to withdraw $170 million in cuts, warning that could hurt foster kids. He said the cuts could have a serious trickle-down effect on 16 recommendations made by a new task force to bolster services for foster kids.
  • PA: Senators Pushing Reform Of Pennsylvania's Child Welfare System
    BCTV - Mar 22, 2018 -- Sens. Lisa Baker, R-20th, and Judy Schwank, D-11th, who lead the Senate Health and Human Services Committee, are looking to establish an Interbranch Commission on the Child Welfare System to help create safer conditions for the thousands of children who find themselves in need of loving, nurturing homes.
  • TX: Study finds two-thirds of homeless in Abilene are school-age children
    Abilene Reporter-News - Mar 21, 2018 -- Abilene is home to an estimated 329 homeless, most of which are school-aged children, according to a study presented to the Abilene City Council Tuesday evening. Of that figure, 217 are school-age minors who are "unaccompanied" by a parent or legal guardian and who often rely on extended family and friends.
  • WA: Treehouse to Provide Auto Insurance at No Charge Statewide for Youth in Foster Care (Press release)
    Treehouse - Mar 22, 2018 -- Treehouse, a nonprofit which gives youth in foster care a childhood and a future, announced the statewide launch of its latest program, Driver's Assistance. The program provides automobile insurance and driver's education at no charge to youth across Washington, and even covers the cost of permits and driver's licenses.
  • US: Bill to Help Grandparents Raising Grandchildren Due to Opioid Crisis Passes Senate (Press release)
    Office of U.S. Senator from Maine, Susan Collins - Mar 22, 2018 -- Today, U.S. Senate Special Committee on Aging Chairman Susan Collins (R-ME) and Ranking Member Bob Casey (D-PA) celebrated the U.S. Senate's passage of the Supporting Grandparents Raising Grandchildren Act (S. 1091), which would create a federal task force charged with supporting grandparents raising grandchildren as the opioid epidemic increases their numbers. The U.S. House of Representatives must pass the legislation before it becomes law.
  • US: Congress Approves $1.3 Trillion Spending Bill, Averting a Shutdown
    New York Times - Mar 22, 2018 -- The spending bill "invest(s) robustly in critical priorities like child care, transportation infrastructure, national security, election protection, medical research, opioid abuse prevention and treatment, veterans' health services and much more," said Representative Nita M. Lowey of New York, the top Democrat on the House Appropriations Committee.
  • US: Friends of Children launching program to help young adults out of foster care (Includes video)
    WWLP - Mar 22, 2018 -- The nationwide program called FOCUS pairs those who have aged out of foster care with adults who provide resources for young men and women entering adulthood.
  • Australia: Sydney archdiocese steps up efforts to combat human trafficking (Includes audio)
    Vatican News - Mar 22, 2018 -- He says that while the Holy See, in 2016, announced it would move to slave proof its supply chains, Sydney is believed to be the first archdiocese to implement this as a public policy. He adds that it's part of the vision of Pope Francis to bring about the eradication of modern slavery and trafficking by 2030.
  • Europe: EU Court Backs Kids' Removal From Religious Communes
    Courthouse News Service - Mar 22, 2018 -- The European Court of Human Rights on Thursday endorsed a move by German authorities to place children of members of the Twelve Tribes commune in foster care after news outlets reported the parents punish their children by caning.

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 . . .