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Colleen Connolly

Colleen Connolly is a freelancer reporter based in Minneapolis.


Minnesota Bill Would Remove Financial Burden of College for State’s Foster Youth

A bill being considered in the Minnesota Legislature would provide the state’s first-ever comprehensive support for students who are former foster youth.

Kinship care has become more common in Minnesota, while child maltreatment rates seem to have stayed the same.


Minnesota Foster Children Are No Less Safe in Kinship Homes, and Benefits Abound

Despite the high-profile death of a Minnesota toddler placed with family friend, research shows kinship care placements are generally safe for children, and can minimize their trauma.


Concerns Over Equity as Minnesota Crafts Foster Care Prevention Plan

Illustration by Christine Ongjoco.
Minnesota child welfare leaders have been meeting with community stakeholders and advocates on establishing a new foster care prevention plan, built around the use of new federal funding available for that goal. 


Alumni Summit Part of Growth Plan for Single Mothers Program

Nearing 25 years of operation, the Jeremiah Program held its first-ever alumni summit in March to celebrate the thousands of single mothers it has served.


What We’ve Learned About The Child Brain

Dr. Damien Fair, director of the Masonic Institute of the Developing Brain at the University of Minnesota Medical School, was recently awarded a MacArthur Fellowship. Photo courtesy of the MacArthur Foundation
Since he first began studying the brain in stroke patients using functional magnetic resonance imaging, or MRI, cognitive neuroscientist Damien Fair has become a star in the field of pediatric and adolescent brain development.


Minnesota Considers Expanding Support for Parent Mentors to Help Reunite Families

October Allen has been a parent mentor with Minnesota One-Stop for Communities since 2016. She works primarily with Native American families in St. Louis and Carlton counties and manages 20 to 25 cases at a time. 


Minnesota Advocates Call for Direct Payments to Foster Youth from Pandemic Relief

Deanna King, a former foster youth in Minneapolis, with her two children. Photo courtesy of King.
Child welfare advocates in Minnesota are calling for the state to use some of its funds from the federal coronavirus relief bill to make direct payments to current and former foster youth who are transitioning to adulthood.