child welfare in the news

recent news articles

  • AK: Child welfare review sensible: Panel's look into OCS claims shows importance of accountability (Editorial)
    Fairbanks Daily News-Miner - Mar 24, 2017 -- Child welfare review sensible: Panel's look into OCS claims shows importance of accountability.
  • CA: Pittsburg Unified School District Recognized by California Department of Education for Outstanding School Attendance Review Board (SARB) (Press release)
    PRWeb - Mar 24, 2017 -- Pittsburg Unified School District's SARB program is aimed at helping students and parents receive resources needed to assist children with attending school on-time in a daily manner. Comprised of dozens of members, the SARB includes Pittsburg business owners, Deputy District Attorney of Contra Costa County, ministers, an army sergeant, Pittsburg police officers, foster parents, after school coordinator, NAACP members, mentors, parent coordinators, school counselors, child welfare advocates, and many additional school district employees.
  • FL: Bill will help foster children get driver's licenses
    Associated Press - Mar 23, 2017 -- Children in foster care would get help obtaining a driver's license and auto insurance under a bill unanimously passed by the Senate. The bill passed Thursday would make permanent a pilot program that began in 2014. The program reimburses foster parents or children for driver's education, license fees and insurance.
  • GU: Judiciary plan aims to reduce juvenile detention
    Guam Daily Post - Mar 24, 2017 -- The judiciary launched a juvenile justice reform initiative in 2014 to work on reducing Guam's juvenile crime and recidivism rates, or repeat offense rates. The judiciary took a look at new ways to reduce the justice system's reliance on detention. The evidence shows that juveniles or youth who spend time in youth detention facilities have a higher chance of repeating an offense.
  • IA: GOP lawmaker seeks probe of Iowa agency after girl's death
    Associated Press - Mar 23, 2017 -- Iowa lawmakers should look into how the state handles child protective services following the October death of a 16-year-old girl who was allegedly starved, a key Republican lawmaker said Thursday in announcing a legislative investigation.
  • MI: Schuette releases 2016 Human Trafficking Commission Report
    TV 6 - Mar 22, 2017 -- Created by reallocating resources in the Attorney General's Criminal Division, Schuette's Human Trafficking Unit has placed an increased focus on combating human trafficking in Michigan, a priority Schuette identified upon taking office. The unit works closely with local, state and federal law enforcement agencies to uncover and prosecute cases of modern-day slavery involving both children and adults.
  • MO: In St. Louis, a push for greater awareness of human trafficking's toll
    St. Louis Public Radio - Mar 22, 2017 -- Statistics on human trafficking are hard to come by. But 135 cases of human trafficking in Missouri were reported to the National Human Trafficking Hotline last year. The majority of calls were made by a community member or victim of trafficking.
  • MT: Foster child numbers growing in Billings (Includes video)
    KTMF - Mar 23, 2017 -- Proposed House Bill 517 would require a plan to be made by August 2018 that would set goals and strategies for lowering child abuse and neglect in Montana.
  • ND: Supreme Court justice urges legislators to study ND juvenile court system
    Bismarck Tribune - Mar 22, 2017 -- Court officials are urging lawmakers to approve what they called a long-overdue interim study of the state's juvenile court system. The proposal follows a study conducted over the past interim on the adult correctional system. "Early contact by children with the juvenile court system does not necessarily improve their chances of keeping them out of the justice system as adults," North Dakota Supreme Court Justice Lisa Fair McEvers said.
  • NE: Child welfare bill advances to second round debate
    Lincoln Journal Star - Mar 23, 2017 -- A bill that would extend statewide a pilot method of responding to child welfare reports advanced Thursday to a second round of consideration. Alternative response provides wrap-around resources for families who need help, and can prevent more expensive interventions, such as removing a child from the home or termination of parental rights. Both of those actions can be traumatic to the child.
  • NM: Martinez freezes hiring for many state departments
    Santa Fe New Mexican - Mar 23, 2017 -- Gov. Susana Martinez on Thursday ordered a hiring freeze for most departments under her control, even as the state government's budget outlook brightened. State Personnel Director Justin Najaka issued a memo telling Cabinet secretaries and agency directors to cancel most recruitment. Exceptions exist for jobs in public safety, law enforcement, health and child welfare, as well as for tax collectors and wildland firefighters.
  • NY: Schenectady County Sees Drugmakers At Fault In Opioid Crisis (Includes audio)
    WAMC - Mar 23, 2017 -- With social services stressed and law enforcement often overwhelmed, a growing number of counties in New York are choosing to bring legal action against manufacturers of prescription opioids as they grapple with the addiction crisis.
  • OH: Some of the youngest opioid victims are curious toddlers
    Associated Press - Mar 23, 2017 -- No matter how it happens, if a 35-pound toddler grabs just one opioid pill, chews it and releases the full concentration of a time-released adult drug into their small bodies, death can come swiftly. These are some of the youngest victims of the nation's opioid epidemic - children under age 5 who die after swallowing opioids. The number of children's deaths is still small relative to the overall toll from opioids, but toddler fatalities have climbed steadily over the last 10 years.
  • OK: DHS identifies cuts 'from the terrible to the unthinkable' in potential 14 percent budget reduction
    Tulsa World - Mar 24, 2017 -- Oklahoma Department of Human Services officials notified employees on Wednesday how a potential 14 percent budget cut would affect the agency. "The reduction scenarios at almost every level depicted can be accurately described as ranging from the terrible to the unthinkable," DHS Director Ed Lake said in a letter sent to employees. "The point has come where real people - very vulnerable adults and children - will lose basic and high-skilled services that keep them in their own homes or communities, or worse, lose protections that keep them safe."
  • OK: Foster care bill passes OK Senate
    KFOR - Mar 23, 2017 -- Senate Bill 727, which proposes several improvements within the state's foster care system, has unanimous passed the Senate.
  • PA: Editorial: Putting children first is right approach in adoption process
    Tribune-Democrat - Mar 24, 2017 -- Currently in Pennsylvania, about 2,500 children are waiting to be adopted. But members of the state House say the adoption process is too difficult, so they passed six bills that would streamline the procedure. The measures, which await Senate approval, would "tighten the screws on parents to benefit the child," said Frank Cervone, executive director of Support Center for Child Advocates.
  • RI: Scathing report calls for overhaul of RI's child welfare services (Includes video)
    WPRI - Mar 23, 2017 -- A report released Thursday by the Office of the Child Advocate (OCA) suggests the state of Rhode Island is not doing enough to protect at-risk children. Upon analyzing the cases of four recent child fatalities and two near fatalities, the agency highlighted the need for drastic reform at the Department of Children, Youth and Families (DCYF).
  • SC: New CEO selected to lead Palmetto Association for Children and Families (Press release)
    Palmetto Association - Mar 22, 2017 -- "PAFCAF's mission is to unite the agencies and organizations that serve children in South Carolina to exchange knowledge, gain new ideas and be strong advocates for our children," said PAFCAF Board President Robert Kimberly. "We needed someone with a proven track record of successfully bringing everyone together to serve South Carolina's children and families. Erin Hall is the perfect person for that job."
  • TX: Religious Groups See Potential Restrictions As A Barrier To Taking A Role In The Foster Care System (Includes audio)
    KUTRadio - Mar 24, 2017 -- Reform of the Texas foster care system has been an elusive goal for state lawmakers. A federal judge ruled the system unconstitutional and "broken" two years ago. One proposal that has received support in the current legislative session would have the state contract with religious organizations and other non-profits to provide care for foster children. But the idea has received pushback from some of the religious groups themselves.
  • WI: Foster parents needed to keep kids near home (Includes video)
    Stevens Point Journal - Mar 23, 2017 -- The Wisconsin foster system is in need of more good homes to house children who can't live with their birth parents temporarily, because of crimes the parents may have committed such as abuse or neglect, or other reasons such as the parents are incarcerated or the children are disabled.
  • Canada: Advocates once again push federal government to comply with First Nations child welfare ruling
    CBC News - Mar 23, 2017 -- First Nations child advocates are before the Canadian Human Rights Tribunal in Ottawa again this week, trying to force the federal government to abide by an order to provide equitable funding for child and family services on reserves.
  • Canada: Troubled Manitoba FN child welfare agency enters into co-management agreement
    APTN National News - Mar 23, 2017 -- A Manitoba child welfare agency plunged into turmoil after the political intervention of First Nation chiefs is now being co-managed by its umbrella organization. The First Nations of Northern Manitoba Child and Family Services Authority-known as the Northern Authority-announced Thursday it entered into a co-management agreement with Island Lake First Nations Family Services.
  • Hungary: Law risks exposing migrant children to sex abuse: watchdog
    Reuters - Mar 24, 2017 -- Hungary's new law to detain migrants in transit zones on its southern border will put children on the move at risk of exposure to sexual abuse, the watchdog Council of Europe said on Friday in a letter to Prime Minister Viktor Orban. Hungary passed a law earlier this month to detain migrants in camps on its border with Serbia, a step which the United Nations said violates European Union law and will have a "terrible physical and psychological impact" on asylum seekers.
  • International: Vatican reform on sexual abuse has stalled
    Catholic Culture - Mar 22, 2017 -- Three weeks have passed since Marie Collins resigned from the Pontifical Commission for the Protection of Minors (PCPM), complaining that the group's work has been thwarted by resistance from within the Roman Curia. A few days after her public announcement, Cardinal Gerhard M�ller, the prefect of the Congregation for the Doctrine of the Faith (CDF)-which was the main target of Collins' criticism- defended his office and denied any foot-dragging on the abuse issue. Collins quickly shot back, rebutting the cardinal's arguments. Since, then, silence.

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 . . .