child welfare in the news

recent news articles

  • AR: 8th Worst State for Children's Health (Includes aduio)
    Public News Service - Apr 27, 2017 -- The report, released this week by the marketing firm WalletHub, ranked Arkansas 44th among the 50 states and District of Columbia for the overall health of its kids under age 18 - eighth worst in the country. WalletHub analyst Jill Gonzalez said the survey examined 28 key indicators of cost, quality and access to children's health care.
  • AZ: How Arizona Fixed Its Broken Child Welfare System in 2 Years
    Governing - Apr 27, 2017 -- For much of the past decade, Arizona's child welfare agency has been in crisis. The number of children entering the state's foster care system grew 92 percent from 2005 to 2015. It was such a mess that in 2014, then-Gov. Jan Brewer created an agency dedicated to child welfare -- something only 10 other states had done at the time. Today, things are looking a lot better.
  • AZ: Pregnant Women, Newborns on Front Lines of Arizona's Opioid Epidemic
    Chronicle of Social Change - Apr 26, 2017 -- Sanchez is just one of thousands of Arizona women who have in recent years become pregnant while still using drugs, often prescription opioids or heroin - just a small piece of a nationwide opioid epidemic. A Centers for Disease Control and Prevention study of 28 states found that babies born with an opioid dependency tripled in the 15 years ending in 2013. Those babies often face severe health consequences.
  • CA: Board Votes 4-1 to Issue Request for Blanket Recusal of Judge Basha
    Davis Enterprise - Apr 26, 2017 -- In a vote that perhaps surprised even Supervisor Matt Rexroad, who brought the issue forward, the Yolo County Board of Supervisors voted 4-1 to issue notice of filing a blanket Penal Code section 170.6 motion to remove Judge Steven Basha from presiding over Juvenile Dependency hearings. As Mr. Rexroad wrote in a letter, "Foster Parents strongly believed there is a 'pervasive bias' by Judge Basha and the court system towards birth parents and reunification. Those interviewed state that over his years on the bench, the Judge 'has been outrageously pro reunification, and takes actions that negatively impact Foster Families.'
  • CA: Los Angeles' Tech Community Steps up for Foster Youth
    Chronicle of Social Change - Apr 26, 2017 -- Los Angeles is primed to be the region where startups not only grow quickly, but correctly; a place where tech resources and entrepreneurial thinking are applied to societal problems in a proactive and positive way, making L.A. the hub for collective progress for years to come.
  • DC: Non-Profit Helps Teens Who Leave Home (Video)
    NBC Washington - Apr 27, 2017 -- In D.C., many young people who leave home are escaping socioeconomic problems,. Sasha Bruce, the only youth-specific emergency shelter in the District, is helping the city as it makes child welfare reforms.
  • FL: Lawmakers agree to pay surviving Barahona victim $3.75 million
    Miami Herald - Apr 26, 2017 -- The Florida Legislature has agreed to pay the surviving victim of one of the most horrific child abuse cases in state history $3.75 million in legal damages Wednesday and sent the bill to the governor for his signature.
  • HI: Court-appointed expert outlines years of abuse in Peter Boy case, missteps by Child Protective Services (Includes video)
    KHON - Apr 26, 2017 -- Documents reveal "Peter Boy" Kema endured horrific abuse in his six short years of life. A court-appointed expert who investigated his disappearance and death said if Child Protective Services had followed the law, Peter Boy would be alive today.
  • IL: EDITORIAL Changing course on child welfare
    Windy City Times - Apr 26, 2017 -- Windy City Times (WCT) just concluded a lengthy three-part series on troubles at child welfare agencies in Illinois and across the U.S. when it comes to supporting parents of children who present as transgender or gender nonconforming.
  • KY: Revolution needed to stop abuse | Terry Brooks
    Courier-Journal - Apr 26, 2017 -- Eliminating child abuse requires the courageous and rare philanthropic leadership that Kosair Charities exemplifies. It requires the on-the-ground efforts by the more than three dozen Face It partners. It also requires decisive and bold actions from state leaders in Frankfort.
  • LA: Reporters find trauma helps explain challenges facing students in New Orleans in a whole new way
    Center for Health Journalism Community News (University of Southern California) - Apr 26, 2017 -- By talking to youth health advocates and child welfare organizations, we found a health lens to tell the story we'd struggled to tell. Trauma is the word that unlocked the framework we needed. We found a gap between the mental and behavioral health needs of the city's children, and the school system's punishment-based, "no excuses" model for academic performance.
  • MA: Arose Nielsen of Belchertown nominated as Juvenile Court judge
    Republican - Apr 26, 2017 -- Gov. Charlie Baker has nominated Arose Nielsen to be a Juvenile Court judge sitting in Western Massachusetts. According to a biography provided by Baker's office, Nielsen has been partner at Carvajal & Nielsen PC since 2007, where she specializes in family law and child welfare in the Springfield Juvenile Court and Hampden County Probate and Family Court. She has been appointed a guardian ad litem in some Juvenile Court cases.
  • MN: Child abuse rates spike in Minnesota
    Brainerd Dispatch - Apr 26, 2017 -- Child abuse rates in Minnesota are soaring. In total, 39,531 Minnesota children were the subject of child maltreatment reports assessed by county and tribal agencies - a 25 percent increase from 2015.
  • MN: Ending a statistic: WSU students organize child abuse prevention walk
    Winona Daily News - Apr 26, 2017 -- Every day, five children die from child abuse. But the students in Winona State University social work professor Ruth Charles' child welfare class want the community to know this statistic does not have to exist.
  • MT: Leading by example: How Missoula Rep. Kim Dudik did Montanans proud in Helena (Opinion)
    Missoula Independent - Apr 27, 2017 -- Dudik is an attorney, and many of the bills she sponsored this year had to do with reforming the code of Montana. Her proposals patched holes in the state's anti-bullying laws, revised definitions of sexual assault and restructured the office of the public defender. Much of her work had to do with children, addressing issues from foster care to abuse court to human trafficking. Were it not for her efforts, children might have been an underserved constituency this year.
  • MT: Governor Bullock Signs Bill to Create Child Abuse Review Commission (Press release)
    Office of Montana Governor Steve Bullock - Apr 26, 2017 -- Governor Steve Bullock today signed a bill to create the Child Abuse and Neglect Review Commission and thanked child protection specialists during the Prevent Child Abuse and Neglect Conference. "As a father and as governor, I will always fight for Montana's vulnerable children," said Governor Bullock. "Our work this session doesn't end today. We will continue to find and implement commonsense solutions that save lives and provide a brighter future for children across the state."
  • NC: Churches encouraged to participate in Foster Care Sunday
    Hickory Record - Apr 27, 2017 -- Churches in Catawba County are being asked to participate in Foster Care Sunday on May 21. This event will emphasize the need for more foster parents throughout the county.
  • NC: State House Unanimously Passes Rylan's Law
    Pilot - Apr 26, 2017 -- The state House on Wednesday unanimously approved legislation named after a Moore County toddler who drowned a year ago while under DSS supervision that supporters hope will prevent the deaths of other children at the hands of abusive parents.
  • OH: How the Ohio House wants to spend additional $171 million to fight drugs (Includes video)
    Columbus Dispatch - Apr 26, 2017 -- Unhappy with Gov. John Kasich flat-funding the fight against Ohio's killer opioid epidemic, House Republicans want to pump another $170.6 million over the next two years into drug prevention and treatment.
  • OK: A call to action: Learning about foster care
    Grand Lake News - Apr 26, 2017 -- More than 80 events and at least one informational meeting in each of Oklahoma's 77 counties were planned as part of Governor Fallin declaring a Statewide Foster Care Call to Action Day last week.
  • OR: Beyond the Blue Ribbon
    Bend Source - Apr 26, 2017 -- Gov. Kate Brown has indicated that she believes we are approaching a crisis situation in the child welfare arena, and that we need to bring people together to protect children's safety. She has spoken to the issue of increasing funding for these services-and last week, put a state hiring freeze in effect. During an interview with the Source Weekly last week, she told us the hiring freeze was aimed, at least in part, toward finding the money for critical services for children and families. As it stands, the current budget proposals being floated in Salem include significant cuts to education and health and human services.
  • OR: Moms in crisis turned away at OnTrack due to state sanctions
    Mail Tribune - Apr 26, 2017 -- A state prohibition on accepting new clients at an OnTrack program has forced it to turn away mothers who have pleaded for help with their addictions and sought a safe home for their children. "We have 48 clients who are desperate to come into the Mom's Program," said Amanda Lindley Krug, program director. "The children are suffering."
  • TX: Bexar County seeing more reports to CPS than 2016 (Includes video)
    KHOU - Apr 26, 2017 -- More children are being reported to Child Protective Services in Bexar County in 2017, compared to 2016. Bexar County is also reportedly seeing higher rates of children being taken in by CPS than the Texas average.
  • TX: CTX has need for more foster parents (Includes video)
    KXXV - Apr 26, 2017 -- Central Texas is seriously lacking in the number of foster homes available.
  • TX: Student LGBT Activists Rally at UH to Condemn Host of "Religious Freedom" Bills
    Houston Press - Apr 26, 2017 -- On Tuesday, LGBT students and allies held rallies across Texas asking conservative lawmakers to stop pushing laws that give Texans the right to discriminate, in the name of religion, against a whole group of already-vulnerable people.
  • WA: The Long Way Home
    Inlander - Apr 26, 2017 -- It's a cruel fate for many abused and/or neglected kids in Washington like Tim, who end up languishing in foster care and eventually turning into criminals. Currently, there are around 50 foster kids who have been sent out of state because their needs are so intensive that nobody in Washington would take them.
  • WA: Will the Legislature do what's needed for foster care?
    Crosscut - Apr 26, 2017 -- Republicans and Democrats in Olympia insist they want to shore up the state's failing foster care system, but major reforms could falter as they head into a special legislative session to hammer out budget and policy proposals that remain miles apart.
  • WA: Gov. Inslee Lowers Bar to Clear Prostitution Convictions
    Associated Press - Apr 25, 2017 -- Gov. Jay Inslee has approved a bill that would allow victims of sex trafficking to be cleared of a prostitution conviction even if they've committed other crimes as a result of being trafficked.
  • US: How Trans Youth Are at Risk in Child Welfare, Juvenile Justice Systems
    Chronicle of Social Change - Apr 26, 2017 -- Lydia's experience is not an anomaly, according to a new study about gender nonconforming youth in state custody, released Monday by authors from Lambda Legal, Children's Rights and the Center for the Study of Social Policy.
  • Canada: Child and youth advocate calls for better access to mental health care in remote communities
    CBC News - Apr 25, 2017 -- Saskatchewan's child and youth advocate is calling on the province to address a number of recommendations he says are "integral to a renewal of the child welfare system."
  • Greece: The sexual exploitation of child migrants
    Harvard Gazette - Apr 26, 2017 -- Closed borders, unsafe holding camps, and increasing desperation have created an "emergency within an emergency" concerning child sexual abuse and exploitation among migrants who are stalled in Greece, according to a new report by Harvard's Fran�ois-Xavier Bagnoud Center for Health and Human Rights (FXB Center).
  • Guatemala: Fairy godmother or child trafficker? An American woman stands trial in Guatemala.
    PRI: World - Apr 26, 2017 -- A controversial child trafficking trial starts this Thursday for a 64-year-old American woman who throughout the late 1990s and early 2000s placed hundreds of Guatemalan children with American families. If convicted, she could face more than a decade in prison.

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 . . .