child welfare in the news

recent news articles

  • AL: State's child population shrinks, becomes less white - Sep 18, 2017 -- Since 2000, the total number of people living in Alabama has risen 9.4 percent, but the percentage of children has decreased. Children now make up roughly one quarter of Alabama's population, according to the 2017 Alabama Kids Count Data Book. The study was released today by VOICES for Alabama's Children, a nonprofit that advocates for child well-being in the state.
  • CA: BREAKING: Bobby Cagle to Lead Nation's Largest Foster Care System
    Chronicle of Social Change - Sep 19, 2017 -- After a long search, Los Angeles County's Board of Supervisors voted to hire a new director for the county's sprawling Department of Children and Family Services (DCFS) today. In a 3-2 vote, the board voted to hire Bobby Cagle, who most recently was the director for the Division of Children and Family Services for Georgia's Department of Human Services.
  • CA: Contra Costa County Permanently Halts Fees For Parents of Juvenile Offenders
    NBC Bay Area - Sep 19, 2017 -- After mulling over the issue for almost a year, the Contra Costa County Board of Supervisors on Tuesday voted in favor of permanently repealing fees levied against the parents of juvenile offenders.
  • CO: Fostering Success program supports students of independent backgrounds
    Rocky Mountain Collegian - Sep 18, 2017 -- Of all the foster youth in the United States, only 10 percent attend college and less than three percent will earn a college degree, according to a pamphlet distributed by Fostering Success at Colorado State University. The Fostering Success program aims to support CSU students who "experienced foster care, kinship care, orphan status, unaccompanied homelessness or other independent backgrounds," according to a pamphlet distributed by the program.
  • GA: Social worker helps students succeed in and out of classroom
    North Fulton Herald - Sep 13, 2017 -- For many kids, being prepared for school entails getting new notebooks, packing or paying for a lunch and seeing if your friends are in your class. But for many children, school isn't their first priority when they need food, clothing and support. That's where Forsyth County Schools Social Worker Amy Gamez comes in.
  • KS: Some Kansas children sleep in offices while waiting for foster homes
    Wichita Eagle - Sep 19, 2017 -- Children have stayed overnight in the offices of Kansas foster care contractors more than 100 times over the past year because places able or willing to accept them couldn't be found.
  • MD: Audit: State social services agency misspent nearly $5 million
    Baltimore Sun - Sep 18, 2017 -- Legislative auditors say Maryland's Department of Human Services mishandled state contracts and unnecessarily spent nearly $5 million - sometimes without getting anything in return. An audit released Monday found the agency's handling of a huge IT project "resulted in DHS paying approximately $4 million more than necessary for one project that was ultimately cancelled."
  • MI: Muslim doctor accused of mutilating 'countless' little girls freed on $4.5 million bond
    WND - Sep 19, 2017 -- After five months in jail, Dr. Jumana Nagarwala, the Detroit-area Muslim doctor accused of mutilating the genitalia of "countless" young girls, was released on a $4.5 million unsecured property bond Tuesday. Until Tuesday, Nagarwala had been the only one of eight defendants in the nation's first FGM case being held without bond.
  • MO: Teen with two dads and six siblings serves as HRC Youth Ambassador
    Proud Parenting - Sep 18, 2017 -- The 2017 HRC Youth Ambassador cohort is a group of 16 inspiring young people, ages 15-22, from across the country. Young people are invited to participate in the program because of their courage in sharing their own stories, and their demonstrated commitment to speaking out about issues facing all LGBTQ youth. As Youth Ambassadors, they represent HRC Foundation and add their voice to help raise awareness about HRC's youth-focused programs.
  • MT: DPHHS cuts would be detrimental to young moms and their kids (Opinion)
    Missoulian - Sep 19, 2017 -- In response to Gov. Steve Bullock's request for state agencies to reduce their budgets by 10 percent, the Department of Public Health and Human Services is proposing two significant reductions in services to young families provided by Mountain Home Montana.
  • NC: Physical child abuse cases skyrocket in Davidson County
    WXII - Sep 19, 2017 -- The Davidson County Social Services Department said in the past month, the number of physical abuse cases they've received have quadrupled. Katrina McMasters, Davidson County Child Protective Services Program Administrator, said there is a wide variety of child abuse cases that come through the Department of Social Services' doors, including physical, sexual and emotional abuse, as well as neglect cases.
  • NH: My Turn: Invest in family drug courts (Opinion)
    Concord Monitor - Sep 20, 2017 -- According to the New Hampshire Department of Health and Human Services, more than 20,000 reports of neglect and abuse are now made annually. Parental substance abuse is a factor in approximately 80 percent of cases referred to child protective services.
  • NH: New Jersey official tapped to lead New Hampshire DCYF
    Concord Monitor - Sep 19, 2017 -- The state Department of Health and Human Services announced a new director of its Division for Children, Youth and Families on Tuesday, six months after its previous leader departed amid scandal. Joseph Ribsam, who currently serves as the deputy commissioner of New Jersey's Department of Children and Families, was appointed by Commissioner Jeffrey Meyers after a nationwide search, according to the department. He'll begin the role Oct. 27.
  • NY: First Lady Chirlane Mccray Launches Nyc Unity Project, First Ever Citywide Commitment To Support Lgbtq Youth (Press release)
    NYN Media - Sep 19, 2017 -- In the face of dangerous, divisive rhetoric and policies coming from the Trump administration targeting the LGBTQ community, First Lady Chirlane McCray today launched the NYC Unity Project - the City's first-ever, multi-agency strategy to deliver unique services to LGBTQ youth, including a new 24-hour drop-in center in Jamaica, Queens that will open in October 2017.
  • NY: How public schools are failing foster kids (Opinion)
    New York Post - Sep 18, 2017 -- For the 5,000 or so school-age foster kids around the city and the thousands more who have spent time in the system, the educational options offered by the city and state are insufficient to mitigate the trauma and turmoil they're experiencing at home.
  • OH: Four local nonprofits receive $101,000 each from Impact 100
    Soapbox Cincinnati - Sep 19, 2017 -- Impact 100, a local organization that dedicates time, effort and resources to help the community, awarded $101,000 to four organizations during its annual awards ceremony on Sept. 12. The 2017 grant recipients include First Step Home, Lighthouse Youth and Family Services, NKY Community Action Commission and Ohio Valley Voices.
  • PA: Local Organizations Unite In Fight Against Suicide (Includes audio)
    KYW - Sep 18, 2017 -- Suicide prevention treatment took center stage in Philadelphia on Monday as specialists united in the fight against the causes of depression. Experts from Children's Hospital of Philadelphia, Jefferson Medical College, the City of Philadelphia and other organizations, gathered at CHOP as they look to implement suicide prevention task forces.
  • WV: Finding a Family: Foster Care and Adoption Panel in Elkins (Includes video)
    WTRF - Sep 18, 2017 -- Price says while progress is being made, there are still not enough families to meet the needs of children. "We are desperate in this state right now," said Price. "We have children who need homes, temporary homes immediately for the night, for the week, for a short period of time. We have workers in the state having to spend the night with children in their offices."
  • US: Aging Out of Foster Care Makes Eating Right a Challenge
    City Limits - Sep 18, 2017 -- Tony Turner knew he had to improve his eating habits to reverse a recent diagnosis of prediabetes, but, after several years in the foster care system, he did not know where to start. Turner realized he rarely received guidance on how to prepare nutritious meals or how to shop for healthy food on a budget so he decided to advocate for such programming at his foster care agency, which responded by introducing a 12-week nutrition program to address those deficits.
  • AZ: DCS: Phoenix Woman Who Used Hemp Oil on Son Will Get Foster-Care License
    Phoenix New Times - Sep 18, 2017 -- Arizona Department of Child Safety officials will revise a newly updated policy banning foster-care licenses for people who possess hemp oil following a parent's plea for change. The change won't affect the DCS' ongoing discrimination of state-authorized medical-cannabis consumers in the foster-care program.
  • CA: Stockton emerging as public health model for toxic stress intervention
    Bakersfield Californian - Sep 16, 2017 -- While scores of public agencies are working to develop resources and programs to address childhood trauma and toxic stress in their communities, San Joaquin County has been turning itself into a model for how to address the issue.
  • CO: Former Jeffco child welfare case worker falsified reports in 12 cases, indictment says
    Denver Post - Sep 18, 2017 -- A former Jefferson County child welfare case worker filed reports in a dozen cases in which she falsely suggested she had interviewed alleged abuse victims, their family members and witnesses, county officials said Monday.
  • FL: Donna Krauser Is Named Chief of Out of Home Care at the Children's Home Network (Press release)
    Children's Home Network - Sep 18, 2017 -- The former Director of Fostering Families at the Children's Home Network, Donna Krauser, has been promoted to Chief of Out of Home Care within the organization. Donna Krauser, CWCM-Sup and CWLC-Sup brings over 28 years of prior experience in child welfare to Children's Home Network, including leadership positions as a Foster Parent Program Director, a Licensing and Placement Director, and Foster Home and Adoption Network Coordinator in both state agencies and community-based care.
  • GA: DFCS director meets with foster parents
    Cherokee Tribune & Ledger-News - Sep 16, 2017 -- Local foster parents gathered together Wednesday night to share their thoughts about the direction of the organization with the new director leading the Division of Family and Children Services branch in Cherokee County.
  • ID: Want to help Idaho children? Volunteering for this job can change a life.
    Idaho Statesman - Sep 18, 2017 -- But in Southwest Idaho, many children are being sent through the foster- and child-protection process without a dedicated advocate. The programs that train and coordinate those advocates need more volunteers, and they need more funding.
  • IL: 4 common misperceptions about adopting-and why they shouldn't stop you (Opinion)
    Chicago Tribune - Sep 18, 2017 -- "Many of the things they discuss are more about putting a child in the best home than about saying yes or no to a parent's ability to parent," said Megan Lestino, vice president of public policy and education at the Alexandria, Va.,-based National Council For Adoption. Adoption experts encourage people mulling the process to apply. Here are common considerations.
  • IN: When poverty traps children
    Journal Gazette - Sep 17, 2017 -- A child in poverty may be unsure when he will eat his next meal, may be taken out of school because his family is behind on the rent, or may be staying with negligent babysitters or by themselves because a parent can't afford quality child care. Those and other effects of poverty increase the chances of a child suffering academically, physically and mentally, according to the National Center on Child Poverty.
  • KS: Task force on child welfare system getting down to work
    Lawrence Journal-World - Sep 18, 2017 -- A task force that Kansas lawmakers set up to study the state's child welfare system will hold its first substantive meeting Tuesday as it begins a top-to-bottom review of the state's foster care system and other child welfare services.
  • LA: DCFS struggling with poor morale, high employee turnover rate (Includes video)
    WAFB - Sep 18, 2017 -- The head of the state's child welfare agency says staffing issues remain a big challenge for the organization. In the past decade, Secretary Marketa Walters says the Department of Children and Family Services (DCFS) has lost about 600 people on the frontlines of child welfare. That has stretched workers thin and increased their workloads. Turnover is also a problem, she says. It's the highest in the Baton Rouge area, at 50 percent for child welfare workers.
  • LA: State picked for opportunity to enhance child welfare workforce
    Advocate - Sep 18, 2017 -- Louisiana's child welfare efforts, which officials say have been mired by high turnover and caseloads, could get a boost thanks to a new federal partnership that will help the state's department of social services come up with ways to enhance its workforce.
  • MI: Target 8 update: 100+ child deaths not reported to watchdog (Includes video)
    WOOD TV - Sep 17, 2017 -- On average, CPS reports around 300 child deaths yearly to the ombudsman, which means it missed more than 10 percent of cases.
  • MN: 'She's Our Daughter': Couple Blocked From Adopting Girl Fights For Parental Rights (Includes video)
    WCCO - Sep 18, 2017 -- A Minneapolis couple says they are trying to give a 6-year-old girl a better life, but tribal law is preventing that from happening. Jason and Danielle Clifford are foster parents and welcomed the girl into their home in July of last year.
  • MT: Families could lose critical help for young kids under massive cuts
    Billings Gazette - Sep 16, 2017 -- ECI and programs like it around the state are in jeopardy of being eliminated under proposed budget cuts by the state Department of Public Health and Human Services. DPHHS administers the federal entitlement program and pays for it through a mix of state funds and federal money from what's called the Part C program of the U.S. Department of Education.
  • NC: Over 121,000 Investigated Cases of Child Abuse and Neglect in North Carolina (Press release)
    Children's Home Society of NC - Sep 19, 2017 -- Early data shows there were over 121,000 investigated cases of child abuse and neglect in North Carolina during fiscal year July 2016 through June 2017. State law requires individuals or institutions suspecting child abuse or neglect to report cases to the Division of Social Services (DSS) for investigation (G.S. 7B-301).
  • NE: Editorial: Public needs to know facts about juvenile probation
    Omaha World-Herald - Sep 18, 2017 -- Nebraska lawmakers created the position of inspector general for child welfare in 2012 to receive complaints, conduct investigations and provide the public with information about problems and successes in how the state handles cases involving vulnerable children. The latest report from Julie Rogers, the inspector general, has triggered sniping between herself and the Nebraska court system.
  • NM: CYFD brings on former clients to help teens (Includes video)
    KOB4 - Sep 18, 2017 -- If you've never lived in a foster home or spent time in a juvenile detention center, it's hard to understand what life is like for kids who do. That's why the New Mexico Children, Youth and Families Department is now hiring interns who've had those experiences.
  • NV: Las Vegas radio host sparks controversy over same-sex couple adoptions post (Includes video)
    KTNV - Sep 18, 2017 -- She's made a living off her strong opinions, now well-known Las Vegas radio host Heidi Harris is facing a firestorm of controversy after a social media post regarding same-sex couple adoptions. Recently, the Heidi Harris Radio Show Facebook page made a post about an ad featuring two men helping a baby walk.The post said the ad is from the Clark County Department of Family Services, which was promoting child adoptions.
  • NY: Local child sex abuse cases rising
    Observer-Dispatch - Sep 18, 2017 -- Most of the 702 investigations the Oneida County Child Advocacy Center conducted last year involved child sex abuse. That number also includes computer forensics investigations, but not cases involving serious physical abuse, said Oneida County Deputy Sheriff Joseph Lisi, the center's director.
  • OH: Cynthia M. Scanland: September is time to pay tribute to kinship care providers - Sep 19, 2017 -- Kinship parenting provides a strong foundation and is considered a type of family preservation. Just as kinship caregivers step up for children, society must rally to ensure supports and services keep these families strong.
  • OH: Fentanyl blamed as overdoses, deaths race ahead of 2016 pace in Hamilton County, Cincinnati (Includes video) - Sep 18, 2017 -- In the next seven days of the heroin epidemic, at least 180 people in Greater Cincinnati will overdose and 18 will die. Babies will be born to addicted mothers. Parents will go to jail. Children will end up in foster care. This is normal now.
  • TX: CPS hard at work in Harvey's wake (Opinion)
    Courier of Montgomery County - Sep 18, 2017 -- Those who work in the 24/7 world of child welfare are already heroes, but Harvey demanded so much more. Hundreds of caseworkers and other CPS employees were directly affected and 76 lost their homes.
  • TX: Drug court allows people to get life back in order (Opinion)
    Midland Reporter-Telegram - Sep 18, 2017 -- We chose to open our home and our hearts. It was during this time that we were introduced to the system currently in place for handling alcohol and drug related offenses and how that works, or doesn't work, with child protective services and child custody issues.
  • US: Eight Child Welfare Systems Selected to Test Workforce Strategies (Press release)
    Quality Improvement Center for Workforce Development (QIC-WD), University of Nebraska- Lincoln (UNL) - Sep 19, 2017 -- Staff turnover in child welfare agencies is typically up to six times the national average turnover rate across all industries. High turnover is just one example of costly workforce issues that can negatively impact vulnerable children. The Quality Improvement Center for Workforce Development (QIC-WD) at the University of Nebraska- Lincoln (UNL) will partner with eight sites to strengthen their workforce.
  • US: Federal children's health insurance program to expire
    Brattleboro Reformer - Sep 18, 2017 -- As debates over the future of Obamacare continue in Congress, a federal program that funds health insurance for millions of children nationwide could expire this month. The children's health insurance program, called CHIP for short, will expire Sept. 30 if Congress does not act to continue it.
  • US: Trauma, Opiates and Child Welfare: How Family-Serving Agencies Can Do Better (Opinion)
    Chronicle of Social Change - Sep 18, 2017 -- But another result of the current opioid epidemic is that the number of children entering foster care due to parental substance abuse has risen sharply in recent years. Therefore, it is more crucial than ever that child welfare systems focus on keeping families together to prevent unnecessary entry into foster care.
  • US: Xanax Or Zoloft For Moms-To-Be: A New Study Assesses Safety (Includes audio)
    National Public Radio - Sep 18, 2017 -- Chodos, who is a nurse, knew that there are concerns about drugs like Xanax and other medications its class- benzodiazepines. Studies completed decades ago suggested a risk of birth defects from these drugs, but data from more recent studies have shown no clear evidence of an increase. There are remaining questions, researchers say, about whether prenatal exposure to the drugs can influence behavior.
  • US: Unfeeling U.S. agencies confiscate children from Indian parents (Opinion)
    Sunday Guardian (India) - Sep 16, 2017 -- Young Indian couples travelling to the United States on short to mid-term job assignments are increasingly facing the menace of child confiscation by the country's child protection agencies, who wrongly accuse them of abuse. The "child abuse" is determined using the controversial Shaken Baby Syndrome (SBS) indicator, the veracity of which is contested.
  • Bangladesh: More than 600,000 Rohingya children could be in Bangladesh by the end of the year as demand for humanitarian assistance outstrips supply
    Global News Wire - Sep 16, 2017 -- "The efforts of the Government of Bangladesh need to be recognized, having generously allowed more than 750,000 Rohingya into the country including those who were here prior to the last three weeks. That number could rise beyond one million by the end of the year if the influx continues, including about 600,000 children, according to UN agencies.
  • Cambodia: Supporting Family-Based Care: Tara Winkler's Talk on Orphanages Considers Internal Exploitation (Includes video)
    Trend Hunter - Sep 19, 2017 -- Tara Winkler, an activist, author, and child protection leader, begins her talk on orphanages by telling her audience about the time she spent volunteering in Cambodia. Eventually, she came to learn that the orphanage that she was working to support was incredibly corrupt, and all of the money that had been donated was embezzled by the director, who was also neglecting and abusing the children there.
  • Canada: Assembly of First Nations National Chief Perry Bellegarde Sets Out Priorities as Parliament Resumes: 'We Want Action and Progress' (Press release)
    Assembly of First Nations - Sep 18, 2017 -- As steps are taken on longer-term work, National Chief Bellegarde called for immediate action to end discrimination in areas where Canada's own courts are demanding action. "We must end the discrimination in the First Nations child welfare system and call on Canada to immediately and fully implement the Canadian Human Rights Tribunal orders," said National Chief Bellegarde.
  • Georgia: 388 children adopted inside and outside Georgia since 2015
    Inter Press News (IPN) - Sep 19, 2017 -- As Georgia's Social Service Agency reports, there are 350 beneficiaries in the small family-type houses and 1523 children enjoy foster care. As the agency informed IPN, 1428 children experienced foster care in 2015, 1539 - in 2016, 1523 - according to data from January including August, 2017.
  • International: Millions of World's Children Lack any Record of Their Births (Includes audio & video)
    Voice of America - Sep 16, 2017 -- In the developed world, birth certificates are often a bureaucratic certainty. However, across vast swaths of Africa and South Asia, tens of millions of children never get them, with potentially dire consequences in regard to education, health care, job prospects and legal rights. Young people without IDs are vulnerable to being coerced into early marriage, military service or the labor market before the legal age. In adulthood, they may struggle to assert their right to vote, inherit property or obtain a passport.
  • Zambia: World Vision to launch a new Child Protection Campaign
    Lusaka Times - Sep 19, 2017 -- World Vision Zambia says it will soon launch a new Child Protection Campaign which will further maximize the current interventions on the plight of children in Zambia. The campaign dubbed: "It takes a World� to end violence against children" seeks to drastically reduce child marriages, gender based violence and child labour, vices that are prevalent in Zambia.

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 . . .