Imprint Author

Colleen Connolly

Colleen Connolly is a freelancer reporter based in Minneapolis. Visit


Eight Years After Federal Law to Improve School Stability for Foster Youth, States Still Scrambling

Many states have fallen short on protecting foster kids' right to school stability under the Every Student Succeeds Act.

New Study Spotlights Need for More Pre-College Programs for Foster Youth


New Study Spotlights Need for More Pre-college Programs for Foster Youth

Federal education officials are investing millions of dollars into studying programs that help foster youth making the transition from high school to college.

Path to Federal Foster Care Prevention Funds Overlooks Tribal Programs, Experts Say


Path to Federal Foster Care Prevention Funds Overlooks Tribal Programs, Experts Say

Tribal communities often utilize time-tested practices to heal families, which don't always align with the Western scientific standards that pave the way to federal foster care prevention funding.

intergenerational housing


Intergenerational Housing Connects Vulnerable Youth and Seniors

Intergenerational housing communities have been a growing trend since the 1990s and recently, these models have been built for an overlooked group: Youth who have transitioned out of foster care and are living on their own.

Identity Thieves Targeting Foster Youths’ Covid Relief


Identity Thieves Targeting Foster Youths’ COVID Relief

Pandemic assistance has been made available to California's current and former foster youth, but fraud and lack of access can prevent them from ever benefitting from the financial help.

Minnesota Rep. Jamie Becker-Finn introduced successful legislation to guarantee low-income parents have a right to counsel in child welfare cases. Photo courtesy of Minnesota House Public Information.


New Law Gives Low-Income Minnesotans Access to Attorneys in Child Welfare Cases

A new Minnesota law guarantees access to court-appointed lawyers for low-income parents who are facing allegations of child abuse and neglect.


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.