child welfare in the news

recent news articles

  • CA: Child abuse cases drop in San Francisco
    San Francisco Examiner - Apr 03, 2018 -- Over the past 15 years, child welfare advocates have recorded an overall 67 percent reduction in substantiated cases of child abuse in The City.
  • CA: Recalling judges in Contra Costa and San Francisco counties (Opinion)
    San Francisco Bay View - Apr 03, 2018 -- Without meaningful and consistent oversight, there can be no justice. There is too much money at stake in our child welfare, family court and criminal justice systems.
  • CA: How LA County Began to Face Its Big Problem With Youth Being Sex-Trafficked (Includes video)
    Youth Today - Mar 29, 2018 -- Michelle Guymon is a hero in the world of child sex trafficking prevention. Seven years ago, she had no idea Los Angeles County had a child sex trafficking problem. Now Guymon is director of the Child Trafficking Unit for the Los Angeles County Probation Department and is part of the group that aims to make LA's efforts to combat child sex trafficking a model for the nation.
  • CO: CASA of Larimer County asking northern Colorado residents to act against child abuse
    Windsor Now - Apr 03, 2018 -- Throughout the month of April, CASA of Larimer County is partnering with businesses across Fort Collins, Loveland, and Windsor to raise awareness and support for abused and neglected children in the communities. According to a news release from CASA of Larimer County, at any given time, there are over 800 children in foster care in Larimer County. According to data from the Colorado Department of Human Services, 1,799 children were involved in open cases of child maltreatment in 2017 and the community is seeing a rise in substantiated neglect cases.
  • CO: Montezuma Social Services director resigns amid questions; commissioners silent
    Cortez Journal - Apr 03, 2018 -- The director of Montezuma County Social Services has suddenly resigned, and the matter is being investigated by the 22nd Judicial District Attorney's office. Josiah Forkner took over as director in October 2014, overseeing a department of 30 employees managing an array of state and federal social programs. County administrator Melissa Brunner confirmed Thursday that Forkner resigned on Wednesday, but gave no reason for his resignation.
  • FL: April is Child Abuse Prevention Month: Pinwheel Gardens increase awareness
    Citrus County Chronicle - Apr 02, 2018 -- During 2017, more than 1,900 children were verified victims of child abuse, neglect and abandonment in Circuit 5 -Citrus, Hernando, Lake, Marion and Sumter counties. The Florida Child Abuse hotline received 11,877 reports of child abuse in Circuit 5 during 2017. Typically, child abuse and domestic violence occur behind closed doors, making it a social ill difficult to readily identify. During the month of April, child advocates rally to raise awareness and increase child abuse prevention efforts in the community.
  • ID: Guardian ad Litem program in Caldwell gets new home (Includes video)
    KTVB - Apr 03, 2018 -- There are seven of these court-appointed special advocate groups all across Idaho. One for each judicial district. The program's Executive Director Christina Walker says just last year, the 3rd District Guardian ad Litem Program -- which serves Adams, Canyon, Gem, Owyhee, Payette, and Washington counties -- advocated for nearly a thousand children in protective custody.
  • KY: Foster care and adoption reform bill goes to governor
    WTVQ - Apr 03, 2018 -- A bipartisan legislative initiative to reform Kentucky's adoption and foster care system has been delivered to the governor to be signed into law. House Bill 1, sponsored by House Majority Caucus Chair David Meade, R-Stanford, and Rep. Joni Jenkins, D-Shively, reforms the state's foster care and adoption system to ensure that a child's time in foster care is limited and that children are returned to family whenever possible. The legislation is based on recommendations of the state House Working Group on Adoption, which met most of last year.
  • KY: Kentucky Senate's budget proposal sets aside millions for child welfare and social workers
    Louisville Courier Journal - Apr 02, 2018 -- "It's a great budget for social services," said Michelle Sanborn, president of Children's Alliance, an association of private organizations that help care for such children. "We're thrilled. Child welfare is a system that has been neglected."
  • MN: Child abuse prevention advocacy agency opens satellite office in Rogers
    Star Tribune - Apr 02, 2018 -- To confront rising numbers of abuse and neglect reports, Hennepin County's leading child abuse protection advocacy agency is opening a satellite office in Rogers. The announcement came as the county's top officials gathered Monday to kick off National Child Abuse Prevention Month. The agency, CornerHouse, helped law enforcement and social workers by conducting more than 500 forensic interviews with abused children last year.
  • NC: Mooresville Exchange Clubs plant flags to raise awareness of Child Abuse Prevention Month
    Mooresville Tribune - Apr 03, 2018 -- On March 31, members of both the Mooresville-Lake Norman Exchange Club and the Evening Exchange Club of Greater Mooresville/Lake Norman gathered at the John Franklin Moore Park in downtown Mooresville to place child abuse prevention flags. The special flags are flown during the month of April, which is designated as Child Abuse Prevention Month, to raise awareness of the children who have died in North Carolina due to abuse and neglect.
  • NV: County has a fifth of needed foster homes (Commentary)
    Record-Courier - Apr 03, 2018 -- Pursuant to best practices, Douglas County needs at least 25 foster homes to adequately serve the population. It currently has five. Douglas County is blessed to have Austin's House and 5 other foster homes. Yet, in 2017 there were 39 children in foster care in Douglas County and 21 of those children were placed in foster homes outside of Douglas County at some point during the year. Let's solve this problem in 2018.
  • PA: Volunteers place blue flags at Capitol to raise awareness for Child Abuse Prevention Month (Includes video)
    Patriot News - Mar 31, 2018 -- April is Child Abuse Prevention Month, and volunteers turned the Capitol blue on Saturday to draw awareness to the issue. A total of 4,416 blue flags were placed in on State Street and around the front of the State Capitol. Each flag symbolizes a child who was affected by child abuse in 2016.
  • TX: Abilene police chief: 36 cases of child abuse investigated in March alone
    KTXS - Apr 03, 2018 -- In March alone, the Taylor County Child Advocacy Center conducted 36 forensic interviews. The majority of the 36 cases investigated in March -- 22 -- involved sexual abuse. Ten were children who were physically abused. Three witnessed violent crime and one child was the victim of an attempted abduction.
  • TX: Children's Advocacy Center of Hidalgo County raising awareness about child abuse cases (Includes video)
    KGBT - Apr 03, 2018 -- April is National Child Abuse Prevention Month, and The Children's Advocacy Center of Hidalgo County in Edinburg is shedding light on the rising number of child abuse cases in the Rio Grande Valley. According to Texas Child Protective Services, the state reported over 40,000 child abuse victims. Over 1,000 children were interviewed by center social workers just in Hidalgo and Starr counties.
  • TX: Fundamentalist Baptist pastor arrested on charges he failed to report child abuse
    Star-Telegram - Apr 03, 2018 -- Robert A. Ross, the pastor of Open Door Baptist Church in Mesquite, is in the Mesquite jail. Bond has been set at $2,500. Ross learned about that church member Steven Winn was sexually assaulting a 15-year-old on Feb. 1 and failed to immediately report it to police, according to a release from the Mesquite Police Department.
  • TX: The raid on the YFZ Ranch, 10 years later
    San Antonio Express-News - Apr 03, 2018 -- The April 3, 2008 raid resulted in one of the largest child welfare cases in Texas history, sparking controversy over whether and how the state could remove hundreds of children from their families without individual investigation.
  • VA: Families Forward Virginia: April is Child Abuse Prevention Month (Press release)
    Families Forward Virginia - Apr 03, 2018 -- Families Forward was established in 2017 with the merger of Prevent Child Abuse Virginia, CHIP of Virginia and Early Impact Virginia. Families Forward supports the work of 50 local affiliates to prevent child abuse. More than 50,000 children in Virginia were reported to Child Protective Services for suspected child abuse or neglect in 2017, according to the Virginia Department of Social Services.
  • US: Court: Trauma Impedes Native American Education Programs, Feds Must Address It
    Chronicle of Social Change - Apr 03, 2018 -- A federal court has ruled, for the first time, that the federal government is obligated to meet the mental health and wellness needs of Native American students as part of its educational obligations to those children.
  • US: The Devonte Hart Case Highlights a Profound Racial Disparity in the Treatment of Child Abuse
    Slate - Apr 03, 2018 -- The criminalization of poor black and brown mothers' parenting practices is a well-documented phenomenon dubbed "Jane Crow." According to the Los Angeles Times, black children enter the foster care system at a rate five times higher than their white counterparts "and linger there, without being returned to their parents or being adopted, two months longer than white children." All six of the Hart children were adopted out of Texas foster care; because Texas adoption records are closed, it's unknown why they were removed from their birth families in the first place.
  • Romania: New draft bill aims to simplify adoptions in Romania
    Romania Business Insider - Apr 04, 2018 -- A draft bill submitted to the Parliament by MPs from opposition parties Save Romania Union (USR) and the People's Movement Party (PMP) aims to simplify adoptions in Romania. For example, according to this bill, the authorities will stop to third-degree relatives when trying to find the family of the child given for adoption, and will no longer look for fourth-degree relatives as they do now.

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 . . .