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The Imprint staff reports

Study finds the pandemic took a severe toll on young adults' food and housing security.


Study Finds Pandemic Has Placed An ‘Untold’ Toll on Young Adults’ Food, Housing Security

The coronavirus pandemic took an “alarming” toll on the food security, housing stability and mental health of millions of young people in the United States — especially among Black people and other people of color — according to a new study.

A vote to close Maine's youth prison was successful, but the legislation has to be signed by the governor, a former prosecutor.


Maine Lawmakers Vote to Close Youth Prison

Maine lawmakers voted narrowly to close the state’s only juvenile prison, but it’s not clear the governor, a former prosecutor, will let it happen.

A watchdog agency in Washington is investigating alleged maltreatment of the state's foster care youth.


Watchdog Agency Looks Into ‘Borderline Abusive’ Treatment of Foster Care Youth

The watchdog agency that oversees Washington’s foster care system is launching an investigation into the Washington State Department of Children, Youth, and Families’ allegedly punitive treatment of hard-to-place foster youth, especially after hours.

The coronavirus pandemic meant more kids stayed in the child welfare system than the previous year, according to an AP analysis.


Pandemic Kept Kids in Foster Care Longer, Records Show

The coronavirus pandemic coincided with major drops in foster care exits, reunifications and adoptions last year, according to an Associated Press analysis of child welfare records from 34 states. The global news cooperative’s analysis discovered that reunifications between parent and foster child fell by at least 8,700 between March and December of 2020, compared with the same period the year prior. 

The director of South Carolina's Department of Juvenile Justice is under fire after the state Senate gave him a vote of no confidence after reports of poor conditions at the state's primary juvenile lockup facility.


Juvenile Justice Chief Under Fire in South Carolina

The head of South Carolina’s Department of Juvenile Justice took a blow last week when the state Senate gave him a vote of no confidence.

Youth Services Insider


NYU Receives $16 Million Gift for Social Science Research Using Big Data

New York University’s Silver School of Social Work has received what NYU called one of the largest gifts ever given to such a school, which will be used to try to crack open new insights into the problems of racism and social inequality.

Both branches of the Oregon state legislature have voted to codify provisions of the Indian Child Welfare Act into state law.


Oregon House Sends Measure Recognizing Tribal Adoptions to Governor

Oregon lawmakers have voted to codify provisions of the federal Indian Child Welfare Act into state law and sent the bill to the desk of Democratic Gov. Kate Brown.

A court monitor found that Michigan's child welfare agency fell short of its goals in the first half of 2020.


Michigan Remains Far Short of Child Welfare Reform Goals, Court Monitor Finds

More than a decade after a federal judge approved Michigan’s sweeping agreement to fix problems with its child welfare system, the court-appointed monitoring team reported multiple ongoing concerns about the safety of kids under state care.


Illinois on Cusp of Bias Training Requirement for Mandated Child Welfare Reporters

Illinois teachers and others who look after children in a nonparental role may soon have to be taught how to recognize and eliminate their own racial and ethnic biases as mandated reporters of potential child abuse and neglect.

Youth Services Insider
Groups are urging the Biden administration to discourage states from collecting fines and fees from incarcerated youth.


Groups Urge Justice Department to Reinstate Obama Stance on Juvenile Fines, Fees

Groups are urging the Biden administration to discourage states from charging fees and fines to incarcerated juveniles, saying they unfairly load debt on low-income youth and their families.

Youth Services Insider
Gordon Bazemore, one of the pioneers of restorative justice, a reconciliation-based system of addressing criminal behavior, has died.


Restorative Justice Pioneer Gordon Bazemore Remembered

Gordon Bazemore, a pioneer of restorative justice, a reconciliation-based system of addressing criminal behavior, has died.

As New York legalizes marijuana, parent advocates push child welfare agencies to be less punitive


New Texas Law Makes it Harder to Remove Kids From Parental Home

Child protective services officials in Texas can no longer remove a child from their family because a parent tested positive for cannabis.

Ohio counties say they need state money to comply with a requirement to pay its kinship caregivers a higher rate.


Ohio Counties Plead for State Funds to Boost Kinship Caregivers’ Pay

A federal judge has been trying for years to get Ohio to pay kinship caregivers their due under federal law, but counties say there’s not enough money from the state to make it feasible.

Youth Services Insider
Ma'Khia Bryant


Lawmakers Seek Probe Into Foster Care Life of Ma’Khia Bryant

Lawmakers are calling for the Department of Health and Human Services to investigate the foster care experience of Ma’Khia Bryant, the 16-year-old Black girl who police shot and killed on April 20.

A new report from Prevent Child Abuse America recommends President Joe Biden appoint a child abuse prevention czar.


New Report Urges Biden to Appoint Child Abuse Prevention ‘Czar’

A new report from Prevent Child Abuse America recommends President Biden appoint a child abuse prevention czar.

Youth Services Insider
Social sector accreditor makes five critical hires.


Social Sector Accreditor Alliance-COA Makes Five Critical Hires

Alliance-COA, an organization that accredits and strengthen organizations in the social sector, has announced a set of critical new hires.

Vermont flag


Vermont Governor Vetoes Bill to Withhold Older Youth Offenders’ Names

Vermont Gov. Phil Scott has vetoed a measure that would have required police to withhold from the public the identity of juvenile offenders under the age of 20 unless or until they are charged with a felony.

Plaintiffs and lawmakers want the Biden administration to immediately return to an Obama-era policy of collecting voluntary data on foster youth, including sexual orientation and gender identity.


Plaintiffs, Lawmakers Seek Quick Decision on Sexual Orientation Data Collection

Tribes and advocacy groups want the federal government to once again begin collecting voluntary data about sexual orientation of foster youth and adoptees.

Youth Services Insider
Staff with Weis Markets, a grocery chain that donated $250,000 to iFoster.


Grocery Chain Rounds Up $250,000 to Help Foster Youth in Seven States

Weis Markets, a grocery chain that operates in the Mid-Atlantic states, presented a $250,000 check this week to the iFoster Hope campaign.

Illinois could soon become the first state to bar deceptive tactics while interrogating minors.


Illinois Bans Deceptive Tactics in Juvenile Interrogations

Illinois is one step from becoming the first state to bar police from using deceptive tactics when interrogating people under the age of 18.

Youth Services Insider
California Sen. Dianne Feinstein led a call to the Biden administration to aid transition-age foster youth, who were hit especially hard during the pandemic.


Senators Push Biden Administration to Aid Transitional Foster Youth

Thirteen senators led by Dianne Feinstein and Mark Warner called on the Biden administration to aid transition-age foster youth, who were hit especially hard during the pandemic.

Iowa will give one-time, $750 pandemic-relief checks to transition-aged foster youth.


Iowa Sending $750 Pandemic-Relief Checks to Transition-Age Foster Youth

The Iowa Department of Human Services is ready to cut checks to people between ages 18 and 26 who are or have been in the child welfare system — a one-time payment of $750 to help them help pay rent and utilities.

Connecticut may raise the juvenile arrest age from 7 to 10.


Connecticut Seeks to Raise Age of Juvenile Arrest from 7 to 10

Connecticut is one of the handful of states that is currently looking at raising the minimum age for juvenile court jurisdiction, in this case from 7 to 10 years old.

Youth Services Insider


National Youth Mentoring Organization Receives $6 Million Gift

A philanthropic gift of $6 million should mean a significant bump in the number of kids who will benefit from one-on-one adult mentoring through Friends of the Children.

Youth Services Insider
Senators aim to reduce child welfare worker burnout


Senators Introduce Bill to Curb Child Welfare Worker Burnout

Few occupations are tougher on workers than those in the child welfare field, with national turnover rates estimated to chronically range from 20% to 40% a year. Two U.S. Senators want the Department of Health and Human Services to lighten the load for these workers.


Dignity for Moms: N.C. Bill Would Ban Shackling of Incarcerated Women in Childbirth

North Carolina is expected to ban the shackling of incarcerated women during childbirth, according to a published report.

Youth Services Insider
Senate Bill Seeks Better Data on Child Abuse Deaths


Senate Bill Seeks Better Data on Child Abuse Deaths

States would be required to report all deaths related to child abuse and create recommendations for curbing them under a bipartisan bill being pushed in the U.S. Senate.

Rural child


Study: Rural Kids More Likely To Be Reported to Child Protective Services, But Why?

In the first study to compare national data on the rate of rural versus large urban child maltreatment reports, researchers found that kids living in the country are about one-third more likely to be reported to authorities, but the rate of substantiation was about the same in both settings.


Maryland Beefs Up Tuition Waiver Law

Maryland Gov. Larry Hogan on Tuesday signed a stronger and more expansive college tuition waiver law for some of the state’s most disadvantaged youth — those who are homeless and kids in the foster care system.

housing key


Vacant Texas Nursing Home May Become Transitional Housing for Foster Youth

A nonprofit in southeast Texas is turning a former nursing home into about 25 transitional apartments for kids aging out of foster care.


Texas Plan to Outsource Foster Placement Suffers Blow

A linchpin provider of Texas’ budding plan to privatize the placement of foster youth across the massive state has dealt a blow to the concept by unexpectedly walking away from its contract with the Department of Family and Protective Services.

Louisiana fails to ban corporal punishment in schools


Louisiana Tries — and Fails — to Ban Corporal Punishment in Schools

The latest effort to ban spanking and other forms of corporal punishment in Louisiana public schools once more failed to get enough votes to pass. The state House voted 48-49 last week, five short of the number required to pass the bill, which was authored by Republican Rep.

New Mexico child welfare agency drops communications app


New Mexico Child Welfare Agency Drops App in Wake of Criticism

The New Mexico child welfare agency has announced that it’s no longer using an app that critics say allowed it to work in secret and may have violated the state’s open-government laws.

Juvenile defenders argue virtual court has its disadvantages


Let’s Not Stick With Remote Court Hearings After Pandemic, Juvenile Defenders Say

Virtual hearings may have been a necessary precaution for the past 14 months because of the pandemic, but a new report from the National Juvenile Defender Center says they take a toll on the legal rights of juvenile defendants and should not remain a normal practice once it’s safe to gather in court again.

Youth Services Insider
Juvenile arrests declined in 2019


Juvenile Arrests in 2019 Continued Long Downward Trend

The rate of kids younger than 18 who were arrested fell in 2019, but the numbers varied across demographic groups and offenses.

Youth Services Insider
Lynn Johnson takes role at CityServe


Former Trump Child Welfare Official Takes on Role at Faith-Based CityServe

Lynn Johnson, former President Donald Trump’s top child welfare official, is now running children’s initiatives for CityServe, a national faith-based nonprofit.

Lynn Johnson, the new vice president of children’s initiatives for CityServe.

Youth Services Insider


Study: Juvenile Incarceration Produces Mixed Results on Recidivism, Graduation Rates

Madera County Juvenile Detention Center. Photo courtesy of Madera County Probation
Harsh sentences for juvenile crimes don’t make it less likely that a person will be convicted of a violent crime when they grow into adults, according to a new study in which academic economists looked at data from Louisiana. 


Michigan Senate Bill Would Require More People to Report Underage Sexual Abuse

Youth Services Insider


New Research Funded on Mental Health, Child Welfare

The William T. Grant Foundation has announced this year’s scholarship winners for promising early-career researchers working on methods to improve the lives of young people who have experienced poverty and other forms of hardship.


Six New Laws Add to Georgia’s Efforts to Boost Adoption

Six new bills signed into law in Georgia this week are intended to accelerate the state’s ongoing efforts to make adoption easier.

Youth Services Insider


New Vice President Named at Children’s Defense Fund

The Children’s Defense Fund, a major U.S. child advocacy organization, has a new vice president in charge of strategy and program.


Unanimous Oregon House Backs Customary Tribal Adoption

The Oregon House of Representatives recently gave unanimous approval to legislation that would require state judges to accept tribal customary adoptions in cases involving Native American and Alaska Native children, ensuring that they can remain connected to their tribe.

Youth Services Insider


Federal Children’s Bureau OK’s Oregon’s Foster Care Prevention Plan

Oregon this week became the 12th state to win federal approval for a plan to prevent children from falling into foster care.


Washington State Child Welfare Chief Endorses Reform Bill on Governor’s Desk

Ross Hunter, secretary of Washington State’s Department of Children, Youth, and Families, on a visit to Camp To Belong Washington, a camp dedicated to reuniting siblings separated by foster care, adoption or kinship.

Youth Services Insider


Penn State Awards Equity-Minded Scholarships for Child Welfare Study

Penn State University junior Lani Rosenbaum and sophomore Janiyah Davis.
Two Penn State University students have been named as recipients of an inaugural scholarship intended to address ethnic and racial disparities within the foster care system.

Youth Services Insider


Biden Picks Longtime Innovator for National Service Board

President Joe Biden has selected Shirley Sacha Sagawa, a longtime champion of youth and national service, to be a member of the board of the Corporation for National and Community Service, an independent government agency that makes grants to support service and volunteer organizations.


Study: Most Unexpected Infant Suffocation Deaths Occur in Unsafe Sleep Conditions

The great majority of infants who unexpectedly suffocated and died in their sleep in recent years were bedded in unsafe sleeping conditions, according to a new study by the federal Centers for Disease Control and Prevention that underscores decades-old public health guidelines.

Youth Services Insider


Biden Taps Elizabeth Watson As Chief Labor Liaison

Elizabeth Watson, who has a lengthy history in youth and family policy and income inequality, has been nominated to be the Biden administration’s point person to Congress and the states on labor issues.


Former Foster Youth’s Bill Signed: At Every Washington State School, a Foster Care Coordinator

A former foster youth-turned state senator credits caring adults who helped guide her path to success, and now the odds are better that other foster kids in Washington state’s public schools will have similar help.


Missouri Governor Signs Foster Care and Adoption Tax Breaks

Missourians who adopt children or take in foster kids will get meaningful tax breaks in the future since Gov. Mike Parson signed a pair of bills this week amid a rare legislative session in which child welfare is a major priority.

Youth Services Insider


Bill Seeks to Extend Help to Relatives and Kin to Prevent Child Abuse

Nearly 2.7 million children are being raised by grandparents, other relatives or close family friends and not their own parents, and some members of Congress want to prevent child abuse by giving these caregivers more help.


West Virginia Foster Care Ombudsman Reports Rampant Fear of Retaliation

More than 90% of parents and foster parents who asked for an investigation into problems they had while dealing with the West Virginia foster care system in the recent past said they did so despite fear of retaliation, according to a news account based on the ombudsperson’s first-ever report.

Youth Services Insider


New Study Confirms High Prevalence of Investigations, Loss of Parental Rights

New research following more than half a million newborns to age 18 backs up a recent estimate that terminations of parental rights is more common than people think, and that one of every 100 children born will experience the state-induced loss of a parent.


L.A. Mayor Seeks $24 Million to Help City’s Poorest Households With Guaranteed Income

The mayor of Los Angeles wants to give the 2,000 poorest households in his city $1,000 a month in income for a full year, no strings attached, just to see how the money affects their lives.


Chauvin Guilty Verdict: ‘Today we mourn. Tonight we dream. Tomorrow, we continue the fight’

Signs held at protests that took place in the wake of George Floyd’s murder last year by police officers.
Youth and leaders in the child welfare and juvenile justice systems reacted with speed and deep emotion Tuesday to the conviction of Minnesota police officer Derek Chauvin for the brutal killing of George Floyd last year — a murder that moved the entire globe to protest racial injustice and police brutality.

Youth Services Insider


U.S., Washington State Settle Discrimination Case on Services for the Deaf

Hearing-impaired parents from at least two Washington state families were denied their right to have sign language interpreters available to them in their fights to keep the state from taking away their kids, according to a settlement agreement announced Monday between the federal government and the state.


New Online Hub Aims to Smooth Journey for Texas Volunteers

Texas’ family services agency has launched a new online hub that aims to make it easier than ever for people to volunteer their time and talents to help vulnerable children and the elderly.


Missouri Lawmakers Pass Tax Breaks to Foster and Adoptive Caregivers

The Missouri House of Representatives unanimously passed two bills on Jan. 27 that would increase financial support for foster and adoptive parents. Now, they await approval by the Senate. House Bill 429 would provide a tax deduction for foster parents — $2,500 for a single parent, $5,000 for a married couple — who have been caretaking for at least six months.


Kids in Foster Care to Have Own Attorneys Under New Arizona Law

Arizona Gov. Doug Ducey (R).
Arizona on Wednesday became the latest state to require that children involved in abuse or neglect cases be appointed an attorney to represent their best interest.


‘Incorrigibility’ Label Eliminated from New York’s Child Welfare Law

Gov. Andrew Cuomo signed a bill deleting the term from the state’s child welfare laws in recognition of psychosocial studies finding that young people are able to make responsible choices when given the appropriate interventions to counter the trauma that filled their formative years.

Youth Services Insider


States Hook Up to Strategize Support for Kids, Families as Pandemic Rolls On

Eight states are getting together for the rest of 2021 to work out the best way to help children and families weather the second year of the coronavirus pandemic with a minimum of child neglect and abuse.


Texas House Moves Bill Strengthening Adoptee Rights to Original Birth Certificate

This could be the year that nearly 1 million Texas adoptees can get a copy of their original birth certificate without asking a judge. Texas adoptees said attempts to pass a measure making it easier for them to obtain the document have fallen short time and again in recent years.

Youth Services Insider


Arizona Launches Portal to Connect Former Foster Youth with Pandemic Relief

Many of Arizona’s current and former youth are in line for more federal help to get them through the pandemic, the state Department of Child Safety has announced. The change means young adults currently in foster care and former foster youth who have not yet turned 27 years old will be able to tap funds made available under a law Congress passed in December, the COVID-19 Response and Relief Supplemental Appropriations Act of 2020.


State Homeless Programs Underserve California Youth, Report Says

Homelessness is a huge black eye on the face of California, and youth homelessness is an oft-overlooked aspect of the scourge, according to a new report from John Burton Advocates for Youth.


Missouri House Votes to Boost Support for Children, Youth by $76 Million

Unless the Missouri state Senate balks, families that adopt children, foster them or care for relatives’ children will have more money from the state, come July 1, to help make ends meet.


Study: Economic Hardship, Family Conflict Linked to Lifelong Difficulties

A large study of European residents, one of the first to look at the effects of growing up amid financial strain, family conflict – or both – links those kinds of childhood adversities to a wide range of social and health difficulties in adulthood.

Youth Services Insider


Colleagues Mourn Death of Phyllis Brunson, Celebrate Her Advocacy for Kids, Families

Phyllis Brunson of the Center for the Study of Social Policy. Photo courtesy of CSSP.
For over a quarter-century, Phyllis Brunson elevated the voices of marginalized young people and their families as they sought to reshape the course of their lives.


Tennessee Appeals to Faith Community to Raise Foster Care Capacity

In 2020, Tennessee Gov. Bill Lee (R) signed into law a a “religious freedom” bill ensuring that foster care and adoption agencies could continue to be eligible to receive taxpayer funding even if they refuse to serve same-sex foster and adoptive parents.

Youth Services Insider


Kentucky’s Juvenile Justice Commissioner Fired

The head of Kentucky’s Juvenile Justice Department was fired last week after a months long personnel investigation into allegations that she had harassed, bullied and intimidated employees, leaving at least one in tears.


Study of Twins Shows Harsh Parental Discipline Tied to More Misbehavior

Six month old twin boys laughing and smiling. Photo courtesy of the Raising Children Network
In a study of twins aimed at teasing out answers to an aspect of the classic nature-versus-nurture debate, researchers have found that the child who was more harshly disciplined than the sibling twin was more likely to develop more behavior problems.

Youth Services Insider


Missouri Governor Seeks Millions to Keep Teens Out of Adult System

Missouri Gov. Mike Parson
Missouri Gov. Mike Parson (R) is asking lawmakers for $18 million in next year’s budget to keep most 17-year-olds out of adult jails. Lawmakers approved a bill making that a policy in 2018, and the law technically went into effect on Jan.

Youth Services Insider


Kentucky Halts Automatic Transfers on Juvenile Gun Felony Charges

Kentucky is backing off a law it passed in the tough-on-crime 1990s under which minors age 14 or older were automatically tried on felony charges as adults if a firearm was involved in the incident.

Youth Services Insider


Campaign Begins to Repeal Major Federal Child Welfare Law

Artwork created for the Repeal ASFA campaign by visual artist Jahmel R.
Activists are preparing to embark on a national campaign aimed at repealing the Adoption and Safe Families Act (ASFA), bipartisan legislation passed in the late 1990s in an effort to prevent children from languishing in foster care. 

Youth Services Insider


Nebraska’s Foster Care Prevention Plan Approved by Feds

Nebraska is about to greatly enhance its prevention aimed at building up families and curbing the state’s use of foster care. The state announced last week that the federal government has approved its plan to implement the Family First Prevention Services Act, a move that will allow Nebraska to tap into more money and services for families and children.

Youth Services Insider


Boy Picks Tulip, Gets Arrested: A Tale As Old As Time

Most people probably would agree that raising a child to respect others’ property is important and that a kid who doesn’t do so should be corrected. Reasonable people might disagree over what the appropriate sanction should be, but certainly, everyone can agree that a child’s maturity level and the nature of the misbehavior should be critical factors. 

Youth Services Insider


Hawaiian High Court: Parents’ Right to Counsel Starts At First Filing

Honolulu, Hawaii. Photo credit: John Fowler
Parents in child welfare cases in Hawaii have significantly stronger rights to counsel as a result of a new ruling from the state’s Supreme Court.

Youth Services Insider


Biden Drops Trump Policy on Sponsors for Unaccompanied Minors

In a reversal of Trump administration policy, Biden federal immigration officials will no longer collect information from the Department of Health and Human Services that could lead to the deportation of parents or other possible caregivers who step forward to care for children who cross the border unaccompanied seeking asylum.

Family First Act raises questions in California


County Agency Leaders in California Declare Racism a Public Health Crisis

Several organizations representing executives in California who run county-level health and human services agencies have joined the growing list of public entities declaring racism a public health emergency. Issuing a statement on Wednesday that they recognize “the historic and ongoing harms of systemic racism” and pledging to address the problem were: the County Behavioral Health Directors Association of California, the County Welfare Directors Association of California, the County Health Executives Association of California and the California Association of Public Hospitals and Health Systems. 


Washington Supreme Court Raises Age of Sentencing Limits for Teenagers

The Washington State Supreme Court.
Washington is the first state in the nation that may no longer automatically sentence young adults convicted of murder to life in prison without parole for killings they committed when they were 18, 19 or 20 years old.

Youth Services Insider


Coronavirus Relief Bill Includes $10 Million for Kinship Care Center

All but unnoticed in news coverage of the $1.9 trillion coronavirus relief package President Joe Biden signed on Thursday is $10 million to start up a technical assistance center to help relative caregivers who step up to fill in for parents whose children have been taken away from them.


New Mexico House Passes State Indian Child Welfare Act

Photo: iStockphoto
New Mexico lawmakers took a step this week toward further ensuring the rights of the state’s Native American children who get caught up in the child welfare system. The State Indian Child Welfare Act measure, which passed the state House of Representatives on a vote of 53-15 on Monday, mostly mirrors federal legislation that passed in 1978, but it expands protections somewhat and ensures that even if the federal law is watered down in the future, the rights of New Mexico’s Indian children and families won’t wane.House


Jeremiah Program’s ‘Daring Powerfully’ Summit to Celebrate Single Moms’ Success

For two decades, the Jeremiah Program has been helping single moms get through college and on the road to leaving generational poverty behind. That’s a lot of work, and until now, program officials haven’t found the time to step back and collectively celebrate the women’s successes.


3,000 Foster Youth in Line for Cash Settlement in Flint Water Crisis Case

Thousands of people who were in foster care during the infamous water crisis in Flint, Michigan, have not been left out of a chance to secure a chunk of a proposed settlement that will distribute hundreds of millions of dollars in claims through state and federal courts.

Youth Services Insider


Latest Democratic Dream Act Bill Takes Heat from Justice Advocates

Young marchers at one of the thousands of demonstrations in support of legislation to usher in a path to remain in the United States for those who arrived here as children.


Report Calls for End to Group Settings for Foster Youth

It’s time to stop placing American foster children in institutions and other group settings, according to a new report by the national child welfare group Children’s Rights. Continuing the practice, the report argues, unnecessarily harms children in government care.


Tiffany Haddish Launches Internship Program for Foster Youth Interested in Showbiz

Actor and comedian Tiffany Haddish has launched a program for current and former California foster youth to receive paid internships in media, arts and entertainment. Haddish’s She Ready Productions, in partnership with the nonprofit Ready to Succeed, will provide the youth selected with training, mentorship and networking possibilities.

toddlers early intervention therapy


California Cleared to Use Medicaid for School Testing

Photo credit:
Gov. Gavin Newsom of California – not to mention frustrated students and exhausted parents – got some good news Wednesday on the school-reopening front.  Two days after Newsom (D) announced a budget deal aimed at incentivizing public schools to start reopening for in-person learning by the end of the month, the federal government approved the state’s request to use federal Medicaid funds to test low-income students enrolled in the state’s Medi-Cal health insurance plan for COVID-19.

Youth Services Insider


The Plans for Justice Department Pilot on Preventing Fatal Abuse and Neglect

The federal government is funding five locally conceived demonstration projects across the United States aimed at decreasing death and serious injury resulting from child abuse and neglect. This week, the plans for those test sites were revealed, with several focused on promoting safe sleep for infants or community collaborations on prevention.


Transition-Age Foster Youth to Aid Vaccination Effort in California

The logo for the California “Vaccinate All 58” campaign
Hundreds of current and former foster youth are being recruited to jump in on the California effort to vaccinate the state’s most disadvantaged residents against COVID-19.

Youth Services Insider
Arizona flag and gavel. Photo:


Federal Judge Gives Final OK to Arizona’s Foster Care Improvement Plan

A federal judge on Wednesday gave final approval to a settlement with Arizona that puts an end to a six-year legal battle over the foster care system, but not before hearing from skeptics about whether the state will be able to keep its promises to some of society’s most vulnerable youngsters.

Youth Services Insider


$1 Million to Fund New Phase of Fight Against Solitary Confinement for Youth

Image courtesy of the Stop Solitary for Kids Campaign
A nearly $1 million charitable contribution to the national campaign to end the use of solitary confinement on youth in adult and juvenile detention will enable backers to launch several new approaches to that effort.

Ohio counties say they need state money to comply with a requirement to pay its kinship caregivers a higher rate.


Ohio Lawmakers Seek to Tighten Child-Protection Reporting Rules in Wake of Horrific Death

A pair of Ohio legislators want to make sure that reports of child abuse never fall through the cracks again — a move that comes more than a year after a Dayton boy died after years of suspected abuse and multiple reports to authorities.

Youth Services Insider


Michigan Funds Homebuilders Model in Preparation for Family First Act

Office of the Michigan Department of Health and Human Services. Photo:
A Michigan nonprofit was recently awarded a three-year, $8 million grant to expand intensive in-home services aimed at keeping kids out of foster care.


Audit Spots Big Problems With Protecting Rights of LGBTQ Youth in Illinois’ Care

Four years after the Illinois formally committed to honoring the rights of LGBTQ youth in its care, an audit released this month found little evidence that it lived up to its initial promises.

Youth Services Insider


CAFO Offers Matching Grants for Collaborative Local Foster Care Efforts

Two of the most common words in the foster care field? Not enough. As in: not enough resources, families or support.  If that’s the case in your community and you’re willing to work with other Christian churches in your area to raise $10,000, here’s some good news: The Christian Alliance for Orphans may be willing to match your funds dollar for dollar.


LGBTQ, Foster Youth Groups Hail Biden Administration Stance on Discrimination Lawsuit

Photo Credit: William Murphy/Flickr
Advocates for foster youth and LGBTQ rights on Wednesday applauded a strong signal from the Biden administration that it will withdraw a last-minute proposal from the Trump team that would allow taxpayer-funded grantees to deny essential services to foster youth and other groups on the basis of sexual orientation, gender identity, religion and other characteristics.


Federal Judge OKs Suit on Behalf of Behaviorally Disabled Students in Oregon

A federal judge has greenlighted legal advocates’ lawsuit seeking to represent all of Oregon’s behaviorally disabled schoolchildren who have allegedly been illegally deprived of their right to full-time schooling. Based on expert testimony presented by the plaintiffs, the case suggests a pattern of local public education agencies sending hundreds or thousands of students with behavioral health problems home early from school, Judge Ann Aiken ruled in U.S.

Youth Services Insider


Florida Child Welfare Chief Critical of State’s Privatization Has Resigned

Florida’s child welfare chief handed in his resignation letter Friday, weeks after the official acknowledged that the agency had done a “bad job” protecting multiple children from sexual abuse at the hands of foster parents.

Youth Services Insider


Prevent Child Abuse America Charters 10 State Chapters

A leading organization that works to prevent child abuse and neglect before it ever gets started announced Thursday that 10 of its state chapters have completed all the steps the organization requires to be chartered.  

Youth Services Insider
credits classroom juvenile


Federal Appeals Court Backs Special Education Rights of Jailed Youth

Image from report. Credit: Juvenile Law Center.
Incarcerated students in the American Southeast who have special educational needs won an important ruling this week in a federal appeals court, children’s lawyers said Thursday.


‘Black Foster Youth Handbook’ Author Nominated for NAACP Image Award

Former foster youth Ángela Quijada-Banks, author of “The Black Foster Youth Handbook” has been nominated for the NAACP’s Image Award in the category of Outstanding Literary Work-Instructional, along with the works of four other distinguished writers. 

Youth Services Insider


Nebraska Signs Emergency Contract With Foster Care Provider Amid Scandal

Amid an emergency that threatened to leave the state with no one to manage Omaha-area child welfare cases, Nebraska officials have approved a new $147 million no-bid contract with its existing beleaguered child welfare services provider.

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Kansas DCF


Judge OKs Plan Requiring Kansas to Provide Mental Health Care to Foster Kids

A federal judge has approved a settlement agreement that children’s attorneys say will ensure children in Kansas’ foster care system can get the mental health care they need. “All children in foster care have the right to a stable, caring home where their mental health needs are met, and our settlement agreement finally moves Kansas in that direction,” said Leecia Welch, plaintiff co-counsel and senior director at the National Center for Youth Law.


Common Tax Credit Associated With Lower Maltreatment Reports

Photo: University of Washington
The government’s largest antipoverty program does more than simply make it easier for families to make ends meet. Known as the earned income tax credit, it also results in a significant drop in reported child maltreatment, according to a new federally funded study by researchers from the University of Washington.

Youth Services Insider


Bill Would Create One Million New Apprenticeships

Known as “earn-and-learn” programs, apprenticeships could be a good way for foster youth to start careers in construction and other trades.
With lawmakers from both parties eager to help get idled Americans back to work, a bipartisan group has unveiled a bill that would put up almost $3.5 billion to create nearly 1 million new internships over the next five years, many of them for young people.

Youth Services Insider


Crowning Gift Means $75 Million for University of Chicago School of Social Services

The University of Chicago’s social services school received a massive gift from the family of James and Paula Crown. Photo courtesy of University of Chicago
The University of Chicago’s school of social work has just received the promise of a “landmark” $75 million gift, the largest ever offered to an American school of social work, the university announced Wednesday.


Governor Shakes Up Guam’s Child Protection Services, Citing ‘Emergency’

Guam’s governor has placed the territory’s child protective system under a state of emergency. Photo: Facebook
Guam Gov. Lou Leno Guerrero has ordered a shakeup of the island territory’s Child Protective Services in the wake of a data review that pointed to systemic problems that have led to a failure to identify and root out “serious and significant instances of child abuse, maltreatment, and neglect,” according to news reports.


Biden Takes Steps to Ease Food Insecurity Pronto

Illustration by Christine Ongjoco.
Moving swiftly to address a growing hunger crisis, the Biden administration on Friday announced several new efforts to put more for on the tables of Americans who’ve been hit hard by the COVID-19 pandemic.


New York City Releases Long-Delayed Plan to Help Youth, Young Adults

Youth and young adults who are having a rough time overcoming the challenges of the COVID-19 pandemic are targeted for help under a set of long-awaited initiatives announced this week by New York City Mayor Bill de Blasio. 

Youth Services Insider


Montana Gov. Greg Gianforte Plucks Child Welfare Nominee from Kentucky

Adam Meier, who was nominated to lead Montana’s Department of Public Health and Human Services.
Montana’s new Republican governor, Greg Gianforte, has named a new leader to run the state’s largest agency, the Department of Public Health and Human Services, which among other things oversees child welfare and family services.

Youth Services Insider


New Strategy Chief Named at Prevent Child Abuse America

Jennifer Jones will be the new chief strategy officer for Prevent Child Abuse America, leaving her position as director of the Change in Mind Institute at the Alliance for Strong Families and Communities.

Youth Services Insider


Casey Family Programs Honors Contributions to Children’s Well-being

Autumn Adams, winner of the Casey Excellence Kinship Caregiver Award. Photo courtesy of Casey Family Programs
Casey Family Programs, a Seattle-based grant maker and one of the largest players in philanthropy in child welfare, made its annual Casey Excellence for Children Awards and Jim Casey Building Communities of Hope Award, which collectively honor leaders and standouts from every aspect of the system. 

Youth Services Insider


L.A. Kings Sport CalHOPE Logo on Helmet, Face Off for Youth in Crisis Amid Pandemic

The Los Angeles Kings hockey club is sticking up for the Southern California community’s mental health this season as coronavirus precautions drag toward their 12th month. Starting with Thursday’s season opener against the Minnesota Wild at the Staples Center and going coast to coast through all home and away games, fans will see the words “California Hope” emblazoned on each side of players’ helmets.


State, L.A. Agree on Plan to Improve Conditions of Juvenile Detention

More than two years after the California Department of Justice launched an investigation into deficient and inhumane conditions in Los Angeles County’s juvenile detention facilities, the county and its school district settled on plans to clean up the problems over the next four years.


Poll Seeks Input From Foster and Kinship Families About Pandemic Impacts

As we approach one year of living with the coronavirus pandemic, we want to hear from foster and kinship families about how the global health crisis has transformed their lives. Our editorial team has designed a short, anonymous survey for caregivers of youth currently in foster care.

Youth Services Insider


Doris Duke Charitable Foundation Names Sam Gill as New CEO

Sam Gill, CEO of the Doris Duke Charitable Foundation
The Doris Duke Charitable Foundation, a significant grantmaker in the field of child well-being and other areas, will have a new leader this spring.  


Trump Finalizes 11th-hour Rule Change Allowing Religious and Sex-Based Discrimination

Among the many ways Donald Trump is seeking to leave a lasting imprint on the government in the final days of a beleaguered presidency, the administration this week erased Obama-era rules that prohibited publicly funded, faith-based social service providers from discriminating on the basis of factors such as sexual orientation or religion.


Report Ranks New York State Counties by Family and Child Well-Being

From the teeming high-rise tenements of New York City’s Bronx County to the sparsely populated hamlets of rural Yates County, before the pandemic, more than 800,000 of the Empire State’s children were living in poverty and over 900,000 households were struggling to keep a roof over their heads, according to a new report.


Pediatricians Group Deems Trump’s Border Policy of Family Separation ‘Torture’

The influential American Academy of Pediatrics has added to growing pressure on the incoming Biden administration to reverse the practice of separating children from their asylum-seeking parents at the Mexican border set by President Donald Trump, concurring with other prominent groups that the practice amounted to torture under international standards.


Live on Imprint at 2 p.m. EST: Federal Town Hall: New Funding and Support for Older Foster Youth

Click here at 2 p.m. EST to watch the town hall on coronavirus relief supports for older foster youth, featuring federal officials Lynn Johnson and Jerry Milner


Bill Would Raise Age of Criminal Responsibility to 18 in Texas

State Rep. Harold Dutton (D) has introduced a bill that would include 17-year-olds in the juvenile justice system.
Texas is one of the last states to treat all 17-year-olds as adults in the eyes of the law.

pop tart


A Pop Tart Tribute to Human Rights

In late December, the nonprofit iFoster hosted its inaugural Great iFoster Bake Off, a national Zoom-hosted competition where foster youth and caregivers teamed up to decorate holiday houses made out of Pop Tarts.


Diverse Organizations Urge California Lawmakers to Prioritize Children in Budget

California Gov. Gavin Newsom is preparing his 2021-22 budget.
As California Gov. Gavin Newsom prepares to unveil his 2021-22 budget proposal later this week, more than 1,000 organizations have urged policymakers to make children — especially the reopening of public schools — the state’s “all-hands-on-deck” spending priority.


Study Finds ‘Devastating’ Pandemic-Era Effects on Former Foster Youth

The first few months of the coronavirus pandemic took a significant toll on the well-being of former foster youth, according to a new survey that researchers said points to the need to address those effects in the medium and long term. 

Youth Services Insider
foster youth


National Foster Youth Institute Names New Director

Rebecca Louve Yao, new executive director of the National Foster Youth Institute
The National Foster Youth Institute has chosen one of its own to assume the organization’s helm. The board of the 6-year-old nonprofit announced Monday that Rebecca Louve Yao, herself a former foster youth, will become executive director on Jan.


Top Stories of 2020: How Kids and Families were Impacted by Coronavirus

As COVID-19 began what would be an unrelenting spread of hardship in America, The Imprint spoke with the CEO of a major child welfare service provider in Washington state, one of the first places hit hard in the pandemic. 


Top Stories of 2020: Trouble in Residential Care

Congress approved legislation in 2018 that will reduce federal spending on group homes and institutions. Since that law was signed, several investigative stories in our pages and others around the country have exposed the shortcomings that prompted it. 


Top Stories of 2020: A Decade of Extended Foster Care

In 2010, California approved legislation that would extend foster care until age 21 for youth who otherwise would be forced out on their own at 18. The state, home to more than 50,000 foster youth, was among the first to offer a longer runway into adulthood. 


Top Stories of 2020: Latonia Rolbiecki vs. Chisago County

In March of 2016, Latonia Rolbiecki’s grandson was born at Fairview Hospital in Wyoming, Minnesota, his body riddled with the effects of his mother’s drug and alcohol abuse. The child was immediately placed into a foster home by the Chisago County Health and Human Services Department. 


Punitive Youth Justice Still Ignores Science in America, Report Says

Although the population of youth locked up in America plunged by two-thirds between 2000 and 2018, the country stubbornly continues to lead the world with its rate of 60 per 100,000, according to a new report.


Youth Sound Off: Best Reads of 2020

The year 2020 is almost over and what a year it has been! Several issues and events sparked major outrage and discussions about how those issues affect those who have experienced foster care, homelessness and juvenile incarceration around the world.


Top Stories of 2020: The Abolition Movement in Child Welfare

The killing of George Floyd, and the summer of protests that followed this tragedy, spurred new conversations about the appropriate role of law enforcement. Child welfare systems, which lack the lethal force component of law enforcement but do police communities with the ability to break up families, got no amnesty from the discussion. 


Top Stories of 2020: Drug Testing and Child Welfare

Two stories The Imprint covered in 2020 reflect the growing concern over how much influence drug testing has on child welfare system involvement.  Lead Read: Texas legislators wanted to know why Taylor County’s child protective services was taking children into foster care at a rate far above the state average.

first birthday family first


Top Stories of 2020: Family First’s First Year

The Family First Prevention Services Act, the most consequential rewrite of federal child welfare policy in decades, was signed into law in 2018 and took effect at the end of 2019, making 2020 the first full year of effect.



Top Stories of 2020: ACES Questioned

California is ramping up a $140 million plan to screen many of the state’s children for adverse childhood experiences, often referred to as ACES. The idea was borne of a landmark study from the 1990s that traced several negative life outcomes in adulthood to trauma endured in childhood. But

Safe Families Children New York Illinois Anderson


Top Stories of 2020: Safe Families Expansion Draws Fire

David Anderson founded the Chicago-based Safe Families as a faith-based alternative to the child welfare system, designed to provide needed respite for parents in crisis. According to its website, Safe Families’ hosting model is “a positive alternative to the State child welfare system,” noting, “the voluntary and non-coercive nature of Safe Families is a hallmark of the program.”


Top Stories of 2020: California’s Juvenile Justice Revolution

America’s most populous state has put itself on a path to hand over all youth incarceration to local government, and its largest city is pondering a complete reimagining of what juvenile justice means. 

Youth Services Insider


‘Year Up’ Sets The Standard on Workforce Development

A gold standard study has found Year Up to have perhaps the strongest evidence to date in connecting youth and young adults to the workforce, perhaps setting the stage for increased investment in the model around the country. 


Foster Youth Film Channel Launches on IndieFlix Streaming Channel

Participants in Kids in the Spotlight film a scene. Photo courtesy of KITS
Los Angeles County is home to some of the most famous, glamorous people in the world. It’s also home to thousands of foster youth, some of the most traumatized, least visible of all.

Youth Services Insider


California Youth Connection Board Selects Staffer as Its New Director

Janay Eustace
California Youth Connection, one of the most respected foster youth advocacy organizations in the nation, has a new director after a six-month search. Turns out, the answer was in the office the whole time.

Youth Services Insider


Allegheny County Child Welfare Chief Marc Cherna to Retire

One of the most respected county human services directors in the country is calling it quits after a quarter-century of service to the children and families of Pennsylvania’s Allegheny County. When Marc Cherna first came to work in Pittsburgh, Allegheny County’s child welfare system was floundering.


Washington State to Pay $2 Million to Settle Foster Care Case

Washington state this week agreed to pay $2 million to settle a case that alleged negligence in a foster care placement in which a girl claimed the state ignored her complaint of sexual abuse at the home for years.


Washington State Severs Ties With Residential Care Services Provider Sequel



Judge Formally Ends Oversight of 1985 Juvenile Justice Suit Against Washington, D.C.

The New Beginnings Youth Development Center, which replaced the infamous Oak Hill youth prison in 2009.
It only took 35 years, but the District of Columbia is now out from under a juvenile justice lawsuit that spanned seven mayoral administrations and generations of lawyers.

Youth Services Insider


Two New States Win Federal Approval of Family Preservation Plans

Two more states have joined the roster of states that can now use the federal child welfare entitlement to support services for families whose kids might otherwise be taken away and fall into the foster care system.


Settlement Expands Rights of Homeless and Runaway Youth in New York City

Illustration by Christine Ongjoco
A federal judge has greenlighted a class-action settlement that expands the right of homeless or runaway youth in New York City to access essential programs and services, including group home beds, mental health services and a chance to appeal expulsions they consider unfair.



Los Angeles Shares Model for Fighting Sex Trafficking of Minors

In 1996, about 1,000 delegates from 130 nations gathered in Stockholm to finally get serious about a global effort to curb a problem to which it had long turned a blind eye: the commercial sexual exploitation of children.



Engagement With Remote Learning Alarmingly Low Among New York City Disadvantaged Youth

Amid a fresh wave of coronavirus infections washing over New York City — a development that has reversed the city’s halting efforts to slowly ease more students back into the classroom — comes a new report finding that thousands of students “failed to connect” at all with remote learning opportunities last spring.


U.S. Justice Department: Discrimination Settlement a ‘Landmark’ Moment for Disabled Parents

Massachusetts must stop its yearslong practice of using “unsupported stereotypes” to justify taking away the children of parents with disabilities, under a settlement that the U.S. Justice Department said should serve as a warning to other states.

Youth Services Insider


Decision Backing Conversion Therapy Inches Controversy Closer to U.S. Supreme Court

A federal appellate court last week struck down local bans in Florida on psychotherapy aimed at changing the sexual identity or orientation of minors. The ruling increases the odds of the “conversion therapy” issue ending up in the U.S.

Youth Services Insider


Criminal Justice: Bill Would Establish Parental Diversion Program in Federal Courts

Rep. Pramila Jayapaul (D-Washington) and Sen. Ron Wyden (D-Oregon) introduced federal legislation that would allow federal judges to sentence parents and caregivers to probation with a range of services instead of prison time.

Youth Services Insider
Ohio counties say they need state money to comply with a requirement to pay its kinship caregivers a higher rate.


Ohio Still Shortchanging Relative Caregivers Despite Court Order, Complaint Charges

Three years after a federal appeals court ordered Ohio to pay those who assume custody of relatives the same amount it pays licensed foster parents, the Buckeye State continues to severely shortchange kinship caregivers, according to a lawsuit seeking to enforce the order.

Youth Services Insider


New Jersey Sending Coronavirus Relief Checks to Older Foster Youth

Illustration by Christine Ongjoco
Congress hasn’t been able to get together on a new coronavirus relief package for months, but at least some money from a previous one is on the way to nearly 1,200 transition-age foster youth in the state of New Jersey.

Youth Services Insider


Juvenile Justice System Groups Picked for Training in Positive Youth Development

A leading philanthropy this week announced the next group of organizations to receive training aimed at encouraging juvenile justice professionals to embrace and spread the principles of positive youth development. In the view of the reformers, frontline staff should be less concerned with sternly enforcing rules to keep kids in line and more about building on the strengths and assets that they and their families bring to the table.


Federal Settlement Protects Disabled Young Detainees’ Right to Special Education Services

For more than a decade, hundreds of disabled students locked up in a large Georgia jail have not been getting the special education services they’re entitled to under federal law, but that may soon start to change.

California's youth prisons will close by 2023.


COVID-19 Prevention Measures Lacking in California Youth Prisons

Newsletter Sign up Email* NameThis field is for validation purposes and should be left unchanged. Hundreds of youth locked up in state-run prisons in California remain in danger of contracting the coronavirus, testing has been lackluster and public information on infections hard to come by, according to a brief released Thursday by the Center on Juvenile and Criminal Justice.

juvenile justice youth raise the age new york justice cuomo lancman acs


Federal Oversight May Return to Horizon Juvenile Center in the Bronx

Starting in Octobe 2018, New York City stopped using Rikers Island’s jails to detain juveniles, instead using the Horizon Juvenile Center in the Bronx (pictured).
Limited federal oversight looks likely to return to New York City’s Horizon Juvenile Center, a move that comes a few months after the city phased responsibility for some kids at the center out of the hands of its Department of Correction.


Pandemic Made Existing Challenges Worse for LGBTQ Foster Youth, Report Says

A new report highlights the ways that the coronavirus pandemic has heightened the risk for LGBTQ youth in foster care. It then recommends steps that child welfare agencies, states and the federal government can take to curtail those risks.

juvenile justice youth raise the age new york justice cuomo lancman acs


Federal Court Monitor: Violence Still Rampant in New York City Jails, Detention Centers

Starting in Octobe 2018, New York City stopped using Rikers Island’s jails to detain juveniles, instead using the Horizon Juvenile Center in the Bronx (pictured).
New York City has utterly failed to reduce the rate of “unnecessary and excessive use of force” against people who are locked up in city jails and youth detention, according to a court-appointed monitor’s latest six-month report to a federal judge.


Connecticut Uses Coronavirus Relief to Provide Foster Parent Back Pay

Connecticut Gov. Ned Lamont (D). Photo courtesy of governor’s office
Foster parents in Connecticut will receive a retroactive $100-a-month pay bump after the governor and the state child welfare agency decided to peel off about $1.1 million in federal COVID-19 relief funds for that purpose.


Building Resilience: Group Pushes for Looser Neglect Laws, More Child Autonomy

Child neglect laws are far too broad in many states and should be changed to make it easy, safe and legal for parents to decide when their children can benefit from appropriate parental independence, according to a group that contends today’s “helicopter” parenting style is bad for children and society.


Grant Aims to Reduce Youth Homelessness in New York’s Snow Belt

Photo: Giving Compass
With winter bearing down on Buffalo and the rest of the Great Lakes Snow Belt, a preseason flurry of good news has fallen for homeless youth in western New York state.Almost

Youth Services Insider


Mississippi Child Welfare Agency Gets New Leader

Andrea Sanders, credited with cleaning up the Mississippi Department of Human Services in the wake of a scandal earlier this year, is Republican Gov. Tate Reeves’ choice to head the state’s Department of Child Protection Services.

Youth Services Insider


New York City’s New Human Services Chief Has Deep Roots in Child Welfare

New York City’s newly named official in charge of health and human services comes with professional experience that neither of Mayor Bill de Blasio’s recent appointees for the position has had: deep roots in child welfare issues.


Federal Judge Rejects Trump Food Stamp Rule

A federal judge on Sunday threw out a Trump Administration proposal that would have cut food stamps to 700,000 Americans, including many foster youths aging out of care, at the end of the coronavirus emergency, which has put millions out of work.


Kids Accounting for Greater Share of COVID-19 Cases

Diagram image of coronavirus. Image:
Children accounted for a rising share of all American COVID-19 cases as some U.S. schools gingerly welcomed students back to the classroom this summer and fall, according to a new report by the American Academy of Pediatrics and the Children’s Hospital Association. 


PPE Shortage was Child Welfare Workers’ Biggest Need in Early Weeks of Pandemic

Adding to the growing wave of research emerging from the early days of the novel coronavirus, the results of a survey of professionals in justice and child welfare agencies show that, like health care workers, they faced a harrowing shortage of masks, gloves and other personal protective equipment.

Arizona flag and gavel. Photo:


Arizona Tentatively Settles Major Federal Foster Care Lawsuit

Children in Arizona’s foster care system are in line for better access to a range of health care services and living situations after a federal judge on Wednesday tentatively approved a settlement with the state in a 5-year-old case that seems to have already forced major changes in the system. 

Children's Movement


Children’s Movement Pushes Newsom on Children’s Health

The Medi-Cal program is failing children, and the state must urgently make managed health care plans accountable, a large coalition of youth advocacy groups said Tuesday in a letter to the Administration of California Gov.

Youth Services Insider


Washington State Gets Federal OK on Foster Care Prevention Plan

The U.S. Children’s Bureau on Friday greenlighted Washington state’s plan to spend federal funds to provide services to families whose children might otherwise be taken away and placed in foster care.


First 5 LA Issues Progress Report on Early Childhood in Los Angeles

Groups interested in understanding the current state of early childhood in Los Angeles County now have access to a new and vast amount of data they can mine to make informed decisions about how best to design and deliver social programs.


Harvard Report: Amid Pandemic, Little Financial Slack Left for Households With Kids

As Washington worked this week to craft the latest, long-promised and long-delayed coronavirus relief package, the Harvard School of Public Health and its partners have released a report painting a dire picture of how American households with children are faring financially amid the health and economic crises.


Riverside Families Seek Reimbursement for Illegal Juvenile Jail Fees

The families of children in Riverside County juvenile detention went to court Monday seeking reimbursement of millions of dollars in fees their lawyers say were illegally charged.  The Western Center on Law & Poverty and the National Center for Youth Law, representing the locked-up youths’ families, filed an amended complaint in their existing lawsuit against the county, charging that although Riverside stopped collecting the administrative fees in April, that was not sufficient.


New Study Confirms Risk of Prenatal Cannabis Use

A new study on mothers’ use of marijuana during pregnancy found links to a small increase in the child’s risk of developing a range of problems, including psychopathology, low birth weight and sleep problems.

Youth Services Insider


Ohio Senate Seeks Ban on Life Without Parole for Juveniles

Ohio made a strong move Wednesday toward becoming the 24th state to ban sentences of life without parole for crimes committed when the defendant was a juvenile. The handful or two of people already serving such sentences in Ohio, and a number of others serving de facto life sentences, could be eligible for parole if the bill is passed by the Ohio House and signed into law.


L.A. County, Foster Advocates Reach Settlement of 18-Year-Old Mental Health Court Case

After 17 years of operating under a consent decree, Los Angeles County has reached an agreement to extricate itself from a long-running federal lawsuit that sought to address gaps in mental health care services for children in foster care in California.


Foster Youth and Alumni Speak Up for Special Groups Among Them

Foster youth often feel misunderstood and marginalized by society as a whole. Within the larger foster youth community, however, certain groups must deal with even more stress. Those groups, and how to help them build fulfilling lives, are the subjects of the latest set of policy recommendations by the National Foster Care Youth and Alumni Policy Council.



‘The Forgotten Students’: Report Calls on Congress to Help Hard-hit Foster Youth on Campus

The COVID-19 pandemic is threatening to crush the college dreams of thousands of people who will soon be aging out of foster care, and Congress must take urgent steps to avoid these devastating outcomes, according to a report being released this week.

Youth Services Insider


Missouri Tigers Football Players Tackle Foster Care Prevention

Missouri’s football team will help Care Portal steer support to families in crisis. Photo courtesy of Athlon Sports
This weekend’s football season opener against the Alabama Crimson Tide hasn’t been the only thing on the minds of the Missouri Tigers of late.

Youth Services Insider


U.S. Appeals Court: Retaining Unfounded Abuse Reports in Database Is Justified

A federal appellate court ruled late last week that Los Angeles County did not violate a man’s due process and privacy rights when it retained a closely held record of unfounded allegations of child sexual abuse against him – without providing him notice or an opportunity to challenge the allegations.



Study Shows Why Quality Legal Representation is Key in Parent/Child Reunions

Last year, New York researchers determined that when parents have a child in foster care and are represented by teams of lawyers working in tandem with social workers and parent advocates, they were reunited with their child about four months sooner than those who were represented by a solo practitioner.

Youth Services Insider


National Center for Youth Law Hires New Deputy Director

The National Center for Youth Law is bringing in a longtime fighter for child, youth and community justice as the Oakland, California-based organization’s second in command. Shakti Belway, a graduate of Stanford University’s law school like the center’s director, Jesse Hahnel, brings with her deep experience in community law, litigation, direct representation, policy development, legislative reform and strategic mobilization.


Reckoning on Equity Necessary After Coronavirus, Report Says

The devastation that the coronavirus has piled on communities that have long suffered under the weight of racism and poverty – along with the fallout from a national uprising against police brutality – has also given rise to an opportunity for historic change in Los Angeles County and beyond, according to a new research report.

Youth Services Insider


Residential Care Giant Devereux Hires ex-U.S. Attorney General Lynch to Audit Child Safety Practices

President Barack Obama announces his nominee for Attorney General, Loretta E. Lynch, to succeed Eric Holder, in the Roosevelt Room of the White House, Saturday, Nov. 8, 2014. (Official White House Photo by Pete Souza)
One of the nation’s largest residential care providers announced last week it has hired former U.S.


Youth-Oriented Drug-Fighting Grants Up for Grabs in California

When California voters easily approved the adult recreational use of cannabis in 2016, there were what might be called high hopes for the tax revenue, then projected to one day total $1 billion annually.


California Issues Guidelines for School-Based Special Education

Aiming to bring some clarity to kids who need in-person, school-based services amid the coronavirus pandemic, as well as to anxious parents and staff, California health officials issued rules and guidelines last month for how that might be done safely.


Georgia Dissolves Child Abuse and Neglect Registry

Georgia will no longer maintain its child abuse registry, which launched four years ago to help investigators quickly identify and locate substantiated cases and keep tabs on the scale of the problem. 


Children’s Defense Fund Announces Historic Leadership Change

Marian Wright Edelman, founder of the Children’s Defense Fund, is retiring later this year and will become President Emerita
One of America’s most prominent child welfare groups, the Children’s Defense Fund, is saying goodbye to co-founder and longtime leader Marian Wright Edelman, and welcoming a new CEO at this crucial time in history.

Youth Services Insider


Pilot Programs Aim to Boost Future Parents’ Sense of Responsibility

Eight states are developing pilot programs to educate young expecting parents about their  responsibilities, including how to manage their finances, emotions and relationships. The grant money for the programs will come from the federal Office of Child Support Enforcement, part of the Department of Health and Human Services’ Administration for Children and Families.

Youth Services Insider


Bill Would Strengthen Oral Health Coverage for U.S. Foster Youth

Foster youth would benefit from stronger access to dental health coverage under a bipartisan bill recently introduced in Congress.   Foster youth already are entitled to dental coverage through Medicaid, but according to bill author Rep.


Youth Recommendations Target Race Bias in Foster Care in Oregon

As protests against police violence against Black people played out this summer in Portland, some current and former foster youth in Oregon – disproportionately people of color – were thinking of how they might rid the foster care system of systemic racial bias.


L.A. Homeless Youth Numbers Jump 19% Compared with 2019 – Before The Pandemic

Months before coronavirus appeared, youth homelessness in greater Los Angeles soared almost 19% from the previous annual point-in-time survey, according to results released Thursday, as regional efforts to house this vulnerable population failed to keep pace with the growing need.


New Rule Puts Some Head Start Agencies Under Pressure to Improve

The federal government is hoping to improve the quality of local Head Start agencies’ programs by refining how it determines when grantees are falling short and must be thrown into competition for ongoing funding.


Social Worker’s Death Due to COVID Prompts Union Calls for Additional Measures

Social worker Ronda Felder died from the coronavirus, causing a call to action to protect other social workers.
The death of a San Diego County social worker has led her colleagues to call on the county to do more to protect them from the coronavirus, which they say the woman caught in the field.


Florida Student Researchers to Dig Deep in Juvenile Justice Data

In exchange for helping Florida’s Department of Juvenile Justice research and develop its next wave of innovations through internships and employment opportunities, some students from the historically Black Bethune-Cookman University will get an inside track for careers at the department.

Youth Services Insider


Two National Child Welfare-Focused Organizations Announce Merger

Two significant organizations in the fields of social, health and human services have agreed in principle to a merger early next year.  The boards of the Milwaukee-based Alliance for Strong Families and Communities and the New York City-based Council on Accreditation announced Tuesday that they had signed a nonbinding letter of intent to combine forces if due diligence, now underway, doesn’t surface any unforeseen issues. 


Wisconsin Juvenile Justice Plan Hits New Snag

Wisconsin’s plans to overhaul its juvenile justice system by building new lockups closer to juvenile offenders’ families and communities suffered a new blow this week when the state’s two largest counties declined millions of dollars in state funds for construction.


House Democratic Report Rips Waiver Allowing LGBTQ Discrimination

Two significant developments occurred this week that have the potential to shape the limits of how far faith-based, publicly funded child welfare agencies can go in selectively choosing what foster or adoptive parents they are willing to work with.

Youth Services Insider


Penn State Develops Algorithm to Assess Substance Abuse Risk in Homeless Youth

Researchers think they’ve come up with a cutting-edge way to predict the likelihood of a given homeless youth running into trouble with substance abuse – and to devise individualized rehab strategies for those who nevertheless develop a disorder.


Bill Would Dial Back Prices for Phone Calls, Canteen Items in Jails, Juvenile Lockups

It’s not cheap to keep people in California’s county-run jails and juvenile lockups. So the law allows sheriffs to run commissary stores inside and to charge the residents to make outside phone calls, then tap the profits “primarily” to pay for programs and services that benefit the incarcerated people. 


Most States Require Some Youth To Be on Sex Offender Registries

Forty-two states permit some youth to be included on their sex-offender registry, even though research shows that only small fractions of juvenile sex offenders recidivate as adults, according to the Juvenile Law Center.


Religious Discrimination Case Moves Forward in South Carolina

A Catholic mother’s lawsuit alleging bedrock religious discrimination by South Carolina’s largest child-placement agency with the blessing of state and federal officials may proceed, a federal judge ruled this week, rejecting calls to throw out her case.

Youth Services Insider


Congressional Watchdog Says Feds Should Be More Proactive on Kinship Care

Relative caregivers are parenting 2.7 million American children in kinship care. This group of caregivers often goes without critical support that is available, sometimes to the detriment of their own well-being, according to a new audit by the congressional watchdog agency.


Bay Area DA Calls for Closure of Juvenile Hall, Investing in Community Alternatives

Less than a week after joining dozens of other prosecutors, corrections officials and probation chiefs in signing an open letter calling for the closure of all youth prisons, one California district attorney took her first official step toward doing just that in her own county.

Youth Services Insider
Friends Mentoring


National Youth Mentoring Model Faces Rigorous Final Test

Los Angeles Friend Marquis spending one-on-one time at the playground with his youths. Photo: Friends of the Children—Los Angeles
A federal grant will allow for the completion of a major study on the effect of long-term professional mentoring on at-risk youth. 

Youth Services Insider
Dave Thomas, founder of Wendy's and The Dave Thomas Foundation for Adoption. Photo: The Dave Thomas Foundation for Adoption


Michigan Latest State to Target Adoption of Older Foster Youth

Wendy’s Founder Dave Thomas. Photo courtesy of the Dave Thomas Foundation for Adoption
Statistics show that the longer kids are in foster care, the harder it is to place them permanently in a loving home.

Kansas DCF


Federal Audit Slams Kansas Child Welfare System

Federal auditors recently faulted Kansas’ Department for Children and Families for allowing residents of its foster care group homes to be chronically exposed to potentially hazardous conditions, even though the state regularly inspected the facilities.

Youth Services Insider


Point Source Youth to Expand Footprint in Fight Against Youth Homelessness

Larry Cohen Point Source Youth Third Annual Symposium to End Youth Homelessness. Photo courtesy of the organization
Point Source Youth, a nonprofit that helps local partners in 30 communities fight to prevent youth homelessness, is preparing to meet a key organizational goal by expanding its work into 20 more communities across the country.

Montgomery child welfare bill new york


Bill Prioritizes Placing Incarcerated Parents Close to Children

The 80,000 children of New York state whose parents are locked up in distant state correctional institutions might have an easier time visiting mom or dad under a bill sitting on Gov.


Family Enrichment Centers Show Early Promise in New York City, Evaluation Reports

New York City’s child welfare agency launched a bold small experiment in 2018: Three new community rooms deep in the city’s most under-resourced neighborhoods would offer comfy, staffed spaces for families to seek no-strings-attached advice and support, computer access, meeting space or children’s playtime, all at no cost.


Missouri Child Welfare Overhaul Includes Kinship Diversion, Access to Birth Documents

Missouri has made it easier for an adult relative to temporarily look after the children of kin without legally removing them into foster care. That’s one of several substantive changes to the state’s child welfare system that Gov.


Arizona Child Welfare Investigators Fired for ‘Professional Kidnapper’ T-Shirts

Several county workers investigating allegations of abuse and neglect in some of Arizona’s most struggling communities were reportedly fired last month, after they wore bright pink T-shirts to work declaring themselves a “professional kidnapper.”

Youth Services Insider


Federal Grant to Fund Behavioral Health Services for At-risk Youth

A federal grant of up $12 million will allow Kentucky to provide comprehensive behavioral health and social services for almost 1,500 children and youth in the state’s child welfare system. The four-year grant of up to $3 million a year is intended to improve long-term outcomes for youth through age 21.


Advocates Propose New Deal-style Assistance for Transitional Foster Youth

California lawmakers may have helped older foster youth from some of the immediate ravages of the coronavirus pandemic in the state’s recently passed budget, but the San Francisco-based Youth Law Center says it’s time to look forward and start planning now for long-term recovery strategies.


New York City Adoption Agency You Gotta Believe Hires New Leader

You Gotta Believe, a pioneer in the field of finding permanent families for young adults, teens and pre-teens in foster care, has a new leader, allowing the former director, Mary Keane, to return to her first love, program work, after three years at the helm of the nonprofit agency.

Youth Services Insider


Bar Association Report: Funding Shifts Greatly Affect Legal Counsel for Kids, Parents

Research has shown that quality legal representation on behalf of all parties in the child welfare system improves the outcome for children and families alike. But until now, little research has been conducted on just how funding affects the ability to provide quality legal services.

Youth Services Insider


CHAMPS Report Finds States Struggling with Foster Parent Recruitment

The recruitment and retention of foster parents — a critical but often overlooked aspect of development for children in foster care — has never been easy, and the coronavirus pandemic has made it perhaps harder than ever, according to a new report from CHAMPS, a national policy campaign that focuses on promoting high-quality foster parenting.

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Lawsuit: Kansas Agrees to Ambitious Foster Care Reforms

Kansas has agreed to a slate of dramatic changes to its child welfare system aimed at ending housing and mental health failures that destabilize youth in foster care. Child advocates who brought the civil rights lawsuit in 2018 said it was past time to end what they called “state-sanctioned homelessness.”

Youth Services Insider


What Works to Fight Youth Homelessness? We Don’t Know Much, Review Finds

A comprehensive new review of programs and practices aimed at tackling youth homelessness did not identify a silver bullet but rather suggested some promising areas for further study — and a crying need for more and better evidence of what works.

Fair Futures New York City foster youth foster care ron richter oped


Funding Increased, Not Cut, For New York City Foster Youth Mentor Program

New York City child welfare advocates are cheering a budget agreement that spares deep funding cuts from a program providing mentors for thousands of foster youth. The program, known as Fair Futures, was slated for significant cuts last week, when the city adopted an $88 billion budget that was deeply constrained by the economic fallout from the coronavirus.

Youth Services Insider


Foundation Puts $12.5 Million Up to End Black Youth Criminalization in Oakland

Akonadi Foundation, an Oakland-based family grant maker, has announced a five-year, $12.5 million effort to end the criminalization of Black youth and other youth of color in Oakland. Akonadi, which has been focused on fighting structural racism for two decades, selected 11 local grassroots organizations to receive funding for various projects under the project’s umbrella name of All in for Oakland.


UPDATED: North Carolina Get-Tough Bill on Drug Exposed Newborns Passes, But Vetoed by Governor

Last week, the North Carolina legislature sent a bill to Gov. Roy Cooper (D) that would make it easier and faster to put babies born exposed to drugs and alcohol on a path to adoption, cutting off efforts to return them to their parents.

Youth Services Insider


Iowa Law to Test the Benefit of Early Legal Help in Child Welfare Cases

Iowa aims to find out if giving families in crisis early access to lawyers would improve outcomes, rather than being assigned a public defender only after a child is removed and enters the foster care system. 

Youth Services Insider


New Director, New Directions for Family Focused Treatment Association

Consonant with its expanded approach to developing, promoting and supporting children in the child welfare system, the recently renamed Family Focused Treatment Association has hired its first executive director to lead the nonprofit’s transition to tackling a broader mandate under a new, landmark federal law.

Youth Services Insider


International Study Recommends Phase-Out of Institutions for Children

A major new review of the effects of raising children in institutions — and the effects of getting those children into family-based care — concludes that institutionalization should be phased out.

Youth Services Insider


In a First, Parent Successfully Appeals Michigan Judge’s Removal of Child to Foster Care

A Michigan parent on Thursday became the state’s first to successfully appeal a judge’s decision to remove a child into foster care, a ruling that the family’s advocates hailed as “an important first step” toward ensuring that judges don’t put families through the trauma of separation without showing sufficient cause.

Youth Services Insider
The coronavirus pandemic meant more kids stayed in the child welfare system than the previous year, according to an AP analysis.


CarePortal Aims to Connect Churches with Families Caught in COVID-19 Crisis

A new online portal will help children and families in crisis because of the COVID-19 pandemic more easily get help from local churches. When human services agencies who enroll on the CarePortal hear from someone who needs help, they can log on to the portal and post the relevant information about that need, and churches in the immediate area with the ability to help can do so.


Youth Services Workers Implore De Blasio to Restore Summer Programs

Hoping to capitalize on mounting political pressure to defund the New York Police Department, nearly 2,000 of New York City’s youth services workers are calling on Mayor Bill de Blasio to reverse his plan to cut $175 million from the city’s youth-oriented summer programs, which serve more than 175,000 youth.


Los Angeles Drops Need for Court Appearance for Uncontested Adoptions During Court Closures

Hundreds of uncontested adoptions in Los Angeles County have been hung up at the final stage since the coronavirus slowed in-person court appearances to a crawl, but that’s about to change.

Youth Services Insider


Pioneer in Juvenile Justice Retiring in Vermont

Ken Schatz, who as commissioner of the Vermont Department for Children and Families pushed for the shut down of the state’s only remaining juvenile prison, is retiring at the end of the month after serving in the post since 2014 and will be replaced by Deputy Commissioner Sean Brown.

Youth Services Insider


Anti-Poverty Grants Fund Platforms for Youth Voices

Advocates for the poor have long argued that most Americans’ assumptions about people who live in poverty are mostly wrong. If only, they say, Americans could see the world from the point of view of those who experience it every day, they might gain a more truer and more sympathetic understanding of the complex issues involved.


Progress Reported on LGBTQ Inclusion by Child Welfare Agencies

The number of child welfare agencies working to create a more welcoming experience for thousands of LGBTQ foster youth took a big jump in the past year, according to a report released Thursday by the Human Rights Campaign Foundation. 


Democrats Seek Answers From Justice Department on Juvenile Detainees Amid Virus Crisis

A group of Democratic senators wants to know what, if anything, the Trump administration has done to help state and local juvenile justice agencies comply with basic standards of care for youth locked up amid the coronavirus pandemic.

Youth Services Insider


Congressional Internship for Foster Youth Forced to Go Remote

The coronavirus pandemic has affected seemingly everything, and the 20th annual congressional summer internship program for former foster youth is no exception. For the first time in the history of the Foster Youth Internship Program, familiarly known as FYI, participants in the Congressional Coalition on Adoption Institute’s program will take place not in Washington, D.C.,


Survey Underway on Foster Youth Experience During Coronavirus

Foster care researchers in San Francisco are surveying as many current and recent American foster youth as they can to find out what they need and want in the age of the coronavirus and beyond. 


Immigrant Rights Group Issues Guidance on Family Reunification Process Amid Coronavirus

COVID-19 has complicated the process of reuniting immigrant families with their children when a parent with an ongoing child welfare case is either in ICE custody in the U.S. or has been deported.


ARCHIVED: Coronavirus, Child Welfare and Juvenile Justice, A Running Thread

This thread includes all of The Imprint’s stories and articles on the coronavirus and its impact on children, youth and families published between March 13 and April 10. For our continuing coverage of the pandemic and how it is changing child welfare and juvenile justice, visit: