Child Welfare in the News
CA: What Los Angeles Child Welfare Leader Bobby Cagle Could Learn from Mick Jagger (Commentary)
Youth Today – March 09, 2018
One of the problems with the whole child welfare debate is that we all say pretty much the same things – but we attach very different meanings to very similar words. No one ever says, “Foster care should be the first resort” when there’s a family problem. Everybody says it should be the last resort. But clearly “last resort” means something different in, say, Los Angeles than it does in Chicago – since Los Angeles tears apart families at well over triple the rate of Chicago.
CA: Survivors of human trafficking in California can now sign up for confidential mailing addresses
Los Angeles Times – February 13, 2018
Human trafficking survivors can now sign up for a confidential mailing address program that enables some California crime victims to privately receive mail, open bank accounts and register to vote.
FL: Woman Who Was Forced Into Marriage At 11 Successfully Lobbies To Change Florida Marriage Law
Inquisitr – March 11, 2018
The woman’s parents and church forced her into the marriage in order to avoid a ‘messy criminal case.’ She hopes the new law will protect children from a similar fate.
FL: Is it ‘child neglect’ if you don’t buckle your kids up? Doctors, government don’t agree
Miami Herald – March 09, 2018
Florida child welfare administrators are deeply at odds with doctors’ groups about one of the most basic aspects of their job: the definition of child neglect.
GA: Parents are feeding their kids cannabis oil to calm them down (Commentary)
WJCL – March 09, 2018
Could CBD (cannabidiol) oil – which is extracted from pot plants – be the new go-to for calming kids down? With states green-lighting the green stuff one after another, marijuana-using millennials are more curious than ever before about giving it to their kids and babies.
HI: The Conversation: State of Social Work (Audio)
Hawai’i Public Radio – March 09, 2018
March is national social work month. It’s one of the toughest jobs out there: high stress, low pay, and long hours. Here in Hawaii, the Child Welfare Services program just received failing grades across the board for the second time. Today’s panel examines the state of social work in Hawaii.
KS: New Boss Promising Kansas Child Protection Agency Will Change For The Better
KCUR – March 09, 2018
The new head of Kansas’ troubled child welfare agency got a unanimous vote of confidence from a legislative committee Friday. Even the agency’s staunchest critics think Gina Meier-Hummel will sail through a confirmation vote from the full Senate to head the Department for Children and Families.
Also: Kansas lawmakers confident new child welfare chief can fix agency: http://www2.ljworld.com/news/2018/mar/09/kansas-lawmakers-confident-new-child-welfare-chief/
Also: Department for Children and Families must remain accountable (Commentary): http://www.kansas.com/opinion/opn-columns-blogs/article204314729.html
ME: CPS workers leaving DHHS at ’80 percent attrition rate,’ legislator says (Includes video)
News Center Maine – March 09, 2018
After a Government Oversight Committee hearing Friday to vote on whether the state should investigate DHHS’ handling of the Marissa Kennedy case, a state representative said CPS workers are turning over at an “80 percent attrition rate.”
Information Gateway resource: Secondary Trauma (Also called secondary traumatic stress or vicarious trauma, secondary trauma): https://www.childwelfare.gov/topics/responding/trauma/secondary/
ME: Government Oversight Committee okays investigation of Child Protective Services (Includes video)
WFVX – March 09, 2018
The vote was unanimous to direct the office of program evaluation and government accountability to begin an investigation into the circumstances that led to the deaths of Marissa Kennedy in February and 4-year-old Kendall Chick in Wiscasset last year.
MI: The ACLU Fights a Michigan Law Protecting Faith-Based Adoption Agencies (Commentary)
National Review – March 10, 2018
Adoptive parents and former foster children in Michigan came forth this week to defend their interest in the protection of faith-based foster care and adoption services in the state of Michigan. After faith-based foster-care and adoption agencies were forced to close in several states, Michigan (and several other states, including Virginia, Texas, and South Dakota) passed laws granting protection to such agencies so they could continue to serve families and children – as they always have done – in accordance with their deeply held religious beliefs.
MN: Minnesota officials seek end to homelessness by 2020
St. Paul Pioneer Press – March 11, 2018
Homelessness in Minnesota has decreased 8 percent since 2014, when the state initially launched the plan Heading Home, according to the Minnesota Housing Agency. The most recent plan, Heading Home Together, aims to further that effort.
NH: Child protection bills expected to advance Wednesday in Senate (Video)
WMUR – March 11, 2018
A series of bills to reform the state’s child protective service system are expected to get the go-ahead from the state Senate on Wednesday.
Also: DCYF leaders say caseloads are high, morale is low and turnover a problem: http://www.unionleader.com/public-safety/dcyf-leaders-say-caseloads-are-high-morale-is-low-and-turnover-a-problem-20180311&source=RSS
NY: Adoption Across Racial and Ethnic Lines: ‘These Relationships Are Always Going to Be in Flux’ (Includes video)
New York Times – March 10, 2018
Margaret Pendergast, who was born in Honduras, and Nicole Eigbrett, who was born in China, shared their stories with the hosts of our Race/NYT weekly chat, John Eligon and Rachel Swarns. The adoptees talked about the implications of transracial and transethnic adoption and their struggle to find themselves in the faces of their white families.
NY: DiNapoli slams ACS for weak oversight of foster kids
New York Post – March 09, 2018
The city’s child welfare agency isn’t providing enough oversight of foster children, State Comptroller Thomas DiNapoli said in an audit released Friday.
OH: Wanted: Lucas County foster families (Includes video)
Toledo Blade – March 09, 2018
More than 140 more children need foster care than at this time last year, and those already in foster care are staying there longer. It has become all the more common to find caseworkers at the office late, scrambling to find a safe place for yet another child to sleep that night.
OK: Oklahoma Department of Human Services Work Through Budget Cuts (Includes video)
KOAM – March 09, 2018
The Oklahoma state budget cuts won’t have anybody getting laid off from their jobs at the Human Services center in Miami. The state agency as a whole is facing a 4.6 million dollar budget cut for this fiscal year.
Also: In endless state budget crisis, Todd Lamb sticks to no-tax increase stance: https://www.readfrontier.org/stories/in-endless-state-budget-crisis-todd-lamb-sticks-to-no-tax-increase-stance/
OK: Oklahoma Did Not Always Comply With Requirements for Providing Health Care Services to Children in Foster Care (Press release)
U.S. Department of Health & Human Services, Office of the Inspector General – February 13, 2018
Oklahoma did not follow its policies and procedures to ensure there was evidence in Title IV-E case files to support that all required health care services were provided to Title IV-E children in foster care. Nor were there Medicaid claims in the State’s Medicaid Management Information System to support that all of the children whose case files lacked documentation received the required services.
Complete Report: https://oig.hhs.gov/oas/reports/region6/61607006.pdf
OR: DHS visitation room makeovers
Corvallis Gazette-Times – March 11, 2018
The visitation rooms at the new Oregon Department of Human Services building on Research Way in Corvallis were set up Saturday by volunteers with seven local groups, each in charge of a room. Event organizers with Every Child, a nonprofit that supports DHS, said the groups collectively raised about $10,000 to buy furnishings for the spaces and about 50 to 60 people helped out with setting them up. “This DHS building was just built, but there was no funding for new furnishings,” said Christina Nelson, an Every Child volunteer. Rather than move old items in from the former location, she said, Every Child stepped in.
PA: Lawsuit faults Lackawanna County Office of Youth and Family Services for child’s sex abuse
Times-Tribune – March 12, 2018
Two children molested by a Wilkes-Barre man might not have been victimized had Lackawanna County child welfare officials warned the man’s adoptive parents he had a history of sexual abuse, according to a federal lawsuit.
WI: Many On GPS Monitoring Are Homeless
Wisconsin Center for Investigative Journalism – March 10, 2018
Michael walked out of the Oshkosh Correctional Institution in April 2017 at age 60 with $140 to his name, a record as a sex offender and a GPS monitoring bracelet strapped to his ankle. The housing search ended in failure. Michael, who is disabled and relies on Social Security, was unable to navigate the process with residency restrictions and landlords leery of renting to sex offenders.
WI: Why child abuse investigations don’t always result in criminal charges (Includes video)
WBAY – March 09, 2018
There are many levels to an investigation, and it’s not always easy to prove abuse or neglect, especially when there is no physical evidence.
US: ACLU Sues ICE For Allegedly Separating ‘Hundreds’ Of Migrant Families
WBUR – March 09, 2018
The American Civil Liberties Union says that U.S. immigration authorities have forcibly separated hundreds of migrant parents, most of them asylum seekers, from their minor children for no legitimate reason. The ACLU requested class-action status on Friday, expanding an existing lawsuit against the Trump administration filed on behalf of an anonymous asylum seeker from the Democratic Republic of the Congo who was allegedly detained for months – more than 2,000 miles away from her 7-year-old daughter.
Also: ACLU challenges Trump administration practice of separating migrant parents and children: https://www.chron.com/news/houston-texas/article/ACLU-Trump-administration-illegally-separates-12741795.php
US: Indian Child Welfare Act attacks are a threat to tribes (Commentary)
High Country News – March 09, 2018
The 1978 act was created to prevent the separation of Native children from their families and communities through adoptions, to “protect the best interests of Indian children and to promote the stability and security of Indian tribes and families.” However, the Goldwater Institute, a right-wing advocacy group with ties to the Koch brothers, argues the law, which only allows Native children to live with non-Native foster parents if a tribal family is not available, is a form of racial segregation.
US: New data shows opioid crisis is just getting worse (Commentary)
Hill – March 08, 2018
Data released this week by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention show emergency room visits for suspected opioid overdoses increased by 30 percent between July 2016 and September 2017.
Australia: Child protection demand grows
Katherine Times – March 10, 2018
The number of children receiving child protection services continues to grow, with Indigenous children notably overrepresented, a new report from the Australian Institute of Health and Welfare shows.
Also: Australia’s welfare 2017: https://www.aihw.gov.au/reports/australias-welfare/australias-welfare-2017/contents/table-of-contents
Ireland: ISPCC concerned over deficiencies in child protection services
RTE – March 11, 2018
Serious concerns have been raised with the Minister for Children about deficiencies in child protection services – highlighted in two reports published in the past fortnight.
Nigeria: Oyo Reiterates Protection Of The Vulnerable As 10,514 Benefits From Child Welfare
Lagos Post – March 09, 2018
The Oyo State Government has assured that adequate security and welfare measures are being put in place to protect the vulnerable segment of the society, saying that about 10,514 children have been cared for under its child welfare programme.
Norway: Child Brides Sometimes Tolerated in Nordic Asylum Centers Despite Bans
Reuters – March 11, 2018
Some child brides are living with older husbands in asylum centers in Scandinavia, triggering a furor about lapses in protection for girls in nations that ban child marriage. Authorities have in some cases let girls stay with their partners, believing it is less traumatic for them than forced separation after fleeing wars in nations such as Afghanistan or Syria.
Sweden: 12 unaccompanied refugee minors committed suicide in Sweden in 2017, report says
Daily Sabah – March 10, 2018
A report commissioned by the Swedish National Board of Health and Welfare has revealed that 12 unaccompanied refugee children committed suicide in Sweden last year while waiting for their asylum requests to be processed. The report said the 12 were boys and men under the age of 21, almost all of them had come from Afghanistan and had applied for a residence permit in 2015.