Advocates Propose Changes in West Virginia Foster Care System
Child welfare advocates in West Virginia have recently offered up a slate of significant proposals to right the system that is admittedly flawed.
Biden Team Reverses Trump Rule on Faith-Based Discrimination in Foster Placement
The Biden administration has revoked a Trump-era waiver that exempted federally funded foster care providers from following nondiscrimination rules.
Child Welfare Leaders Forge National Child Safety Partnership
Child welfare leaders are getting behind an initiative that they say would accelerate a major national shift toward building a child safety system that prioritizes keeping families from falling into the foster care system because of severe maltreatment while at the same time improving the safety of children at risk of maltreatment.
Virtual Home Visits Likely ‘Here to Stay’ After Pandemic Fades, Survey Finds
People in the child welfare field, like folks in virtually all occupations, are still trying to figure out exactly what the “new normal” will look like when (and if) COVID-19 fades to a lower-level public health concern.
UNICEF Calls for End to Juvenile Detention
One of the world’s best-known social welfare organizations, UNICEF, released two reports to make the case for nations to stop incarcerating children.
Delaware to Offer Free State College to Former Foster Youth
Beginning next spring, some Delaware students who were previously in foster care will have access to cost-free college.
Campaign Pushes for Children and Parents’ Right to Quality Legal Counsel
A campaign is underway to extend the right to an attorney to children and parents nationwide caught up in the child welfare system.
Grant Funds National Effort to Engage Foster Youth in Decisions About Care
Backed by more than $20 million in federal funds, a national effort is underway to engage foster youth in the decision making around their care.
Juvenile Justice Realignment Lawsuit: California County Violating State’s Open Government Law
Legal advocates for California’s juvenile justice-involved youth have filed a lawsuit against Fresno County for not welcoming public input in developing local plans for youth justice.
Dave Thomas Foundation Names Top Adoption-Friendly Workplaces for 2021
The Dave Thomas Foundation for Adoption has again ranked the 100 American employers that best support workers who are adoptive parents.
Led by California Attorney General, 25 States Urge Supreme Court to Validate Indian Child Welfare Act
Last month, 25 states urged the U.S. Supreme Court to uphold the constitutionality of the Indian Child Welfare Act, which was signed into law 43 years ago this week.
Florida Confirms Abuse Allegations Against Some Foster Parents
The child welfare agency in Florida is changing how it responds to allegations of abuse against foster caregivers, following a news investigation in March.
Adoption-Competent Therapy Teaching Clinic Planned for 2023
The Center for Adoption Support and Education plans to launch a teaching clinic so more professionals can provide adoption-competent therapy.
Indicted Former North Carolina Social Services Director Resigns from Agency, Pleads Guilty
A former social services director in North Carolina pled guilty to obstruction of justice for the department's use of illegitimate documents.
New York Governor Signs Retroactive Youthful Offender Bill
Some people who were sentenced for crimes they committed when they were very young can now ask a judge for a second chance of sorts under a new law in New York state.
Florida Proposes End to Costly Juvenile Court Fees
A bipartisan group of Florida state lawmakers filed two companion bills that would prohibit juvenile court fees in the state.
Team Behind HUD Initiative Assisting Transition-Age Youth Wins Federal Service “Sammie” Award
Employees with the Housing and Urban Development's Office of Public and Indian Housing won an award for an initiative helping transition-age youth.
Prevent Child Abuse America Offers Grants to Tackle Racial Disparity
Prevent Child Abuse America is offering nonprofits with a history of serving Black, Latino and Indigenous families grants of up to $150,000.
Kinship Caregivers Getting Cash Support in Arizona
Grandparents and other kin who stepped up to help their loved ones' children are getting one-time pandemic relief funds in Arizona.
Feds Award Youth Homelessness Grants to Communities Nationwide
More than $140 million in competitive federal grants will help combat youth homelessness in 33 communities across the United States.
Grantmaker Chooses 10 Finalists in $90M Racial Equity Challenge
The W.K. Kellogg Foundation has chosen 10 finalists in the running for a total of $90 million to fund racial equity projects.
United Way Grant to Help Fund Florida County’s Guardian ad Litem Program
The Guardian ad Litem Foundation, 20th Judicial Circuit, has received a $17,000 grant from a local chapter of the United Way.
Behavioral Health Contractor Sequel Absorbs Two Blows
The for-profit Sequel Youth & Family Services faces regulatory and legal complaints for its management of residential care facilities for teens.
Cook County Acting Director of Juvenile Probation Brings Experience and Compassion to Work
Miquel Lewis has been named acting director of juvenile probation in the nation's second most populated county, Cook County, Illinois.
Long-term Mentoring Group Will Open New Offices in Colorado, Montana
A group that offers long-term professional mentoring to kids at risk of getting trapped in the child welfare system is opening new offices.
Montana Lawmakers to Study Courts’ Child Welfare Pilot Programs
Montana lawmakers will study two promising pilot programs courts have used to address the increase and improve the lives of foster youth.
Kansas Governor Laura Kelly Creates Division of the Child Advocate as Watchdog
Kansas Gov. Laura Kelly signed an executive order early this month establishing the Division of the Child Advocate.
Washington State Allowed to Exit Foster Care Lawsuit Following Reforms
Years after foster care children and their legal advocates sued the state of Washington over mental health services, a federal judge is satisfied that the state is committed to lasting changes.
Nonprofit Lucks Out With $1 Million Windfall From ‘Celebrity Wheel of Fortune’
National child welfare provider Youth Villages learned Sunday night it would receive $1 million from "Celebrity Wheel of Fortune."
California Takes on More Oversight of Unaccompanied Immigrant Children
California is asserting its responsibility for the care of immigrant children in the state who don't have any adult to look after them.
Canadian Court Backs Billions in Compensation for Indigenous Children, Caregivers
In rejecting Prime Minister Justin Trudeau’s position, a Canadian judge has set the stage for Ottawa to pay billions of dollars in compensation to Indigenous children who were removed from their homes and systematically given inadequate child welfare support.
Federal Judge Allows Oregon Child Welfare Lawsuit to Proceed
A class-action lawsuit alleging that the state of Oregon has violated the rights of children in its child welfare system may proceed, a federal judge ruled last week.
Study Finds California’s Black Youth at Greater Risk of Injury in Police Encounters
Black youth in California are more likely to be injured during police interactions, according to a study that examined data from 2005 to 2017.
Illinois Kids Languish in Psychiatric Facilities Due to Lack of Suitable Placements
For years, foster children in Illinois have had to stay in psychiatric treatment facilities longer than necessary because there are no suitable placements for them.
Poet, Juvenile Justice Reformer Wins Prestigious ‘Genius’ Grant
Reginald Dwayne Betts, a poet and justice reformer, was awarded a prestigious “genius” grant through the MacArthur Fellowship.
Biden Gives Native Children’s Commission an Extension to Complete Report
President Joe Biden granted a special commission an extension to complete a report on government and tribal programs that serve Indigenous children.
State Watchdog Says Nebraska Should Break Contract for Case Management
A state watchdog says Nebraska should cancel the remainder of its contract with child welfare case management provider, Saint Francis Ministries.
Federal Judge Decides Georgia Students in Adult Jails Entitled to Education
A Georgia circuit judge ruled that federal law entitles students with disabilities to education services when in adult jails.
Nathalia Gibbs Tapped to Coordinate Campaign to Repeal 1997 Adoption Law
A campaign announced in March to seek repeal of the Adoption and Safe Families Act has brought in a strategist to lead the effort.
South Carolina Juvenile Justice Leader Quits After Months of Pressure
The leader of South Carolina’s juvenile justice agency is stepping down after more than four years running the long-embattled department.
New York City’s Child Welfare Agency Tells Service Providers to Vaccinate Teens — Even Without Parent Consent
New York City’s child welfare agency told certain service providers they should vaccinate 16- and 17-year-olds against COVID-19, even without parental approval.
Children’s Rights Lures Top Litigator Leecia Welch from National Center for Youth Law
Children’s Rights announced earlier this month that it hired Leecia Welch, previously with National Center for Youth Law, as lead counsel.
Maine Plan for Keeping Families Intact Wins Federal Approval
The federal government has signed off on Maine's plan for expansion of prevention and treatment for families whose kids are at risk of falling into the foster care system.
North Carolina Raises the Floor for Prosecution to 8 Years Old
Six- and 7-year-olds accused of committing felonies in North Carolina will no longer be prosecuted in criminal court under a juvenile justice bill Gov. Roy Cooper signed on Aug. 30.
New Rhode Island Law Protects Families with Parents Who Are Disabled
In Rhode Island, a parent’s disability can no longer be the sole basis to deny or restrict their rights in matters involving a child's welfare.
Child Abuse Prevention: Senators Seek More CAPTA Money for Community-Based Family Services
Saying efforts to prevent child abuse and neglect are "tragically underfunded," two U.S. senators have introduced a bill that could pump hundreds of millions of dollars into addressing the problem.
Tennessee Waives One-Year Sports Eligibility Rule for Foster Care Students
Students in foster care in Tennessee are exempt from a rule that bars kids who transfer to a new district from playing sports for a year.
North Carolina Lawmakers Send Child Welfare Bill to Governor
North Carolina lawmakers have passed a broad bill that backers hope will improve the lives of hard-to-place children in the foster care system if Gov. Roy Cooper signs it, as the author expects.
Pittsburgh Detention Center Ordered to Close Next Month Amid Ongoing Violations
A juvenile detention center in Pittsburgh must close by Sept. 18 after findings that staff failed to correct major violations for years.
New Hampshire Steps Up Monitoring of Powerful Drugs’ Use on Foster Children
New Hampshire is the latest state to step up the monitoring of medications intended to immediately control the behavior of children in foster care.
National Center for Youth Law’s Leecia Welch Wins Janet Reno Leadership Award
Leecia Welch, the National Center for Youth Law’s senior director of legal advocacy and child welfare, has been awarded the Janet Reno Endowment Women’s Leadership Award.
Study of Native Children’s Justice Needs Will Likely Get a Two-Year Extension
A bill granting the U.S. Justice Department’s Office of Tribal Justice two additional years to complete a study on the needs of Native children is on its way to President Joe Biden’s desk for his signature.
Illinois Governor Signs Juvenile Justice Bill Banning Isolation
Illinois youth in juvenile facilities may no longer be thrown into isolation or room confinement as a punishment for their behavior.
Vaccination Rates in Louisiana’s Crowded Juvenile Lockups Concern Advocates
With just 1 in 4 of Louisiana’s incarcerated youth fully vaccinated against the coronavirus, children’s advocates say the state should do more to protect them, as the more transmissible delta variant spreads.
The Administration for Children and Families Seeks Extension on Adoptee Well-being Survey
The Administration for Children and Families in the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services is asking for more time to complete a survey aimed at sussing out information about the factors that affect family stability at least eight years after families adopt kids out of the child welfare system.
A Study of Michigan Suggests Released ‘Juvenile Lifers’ Rarely Reoffend
Less than four years after courts across the land began to release “juvenile lifers” from prison, evidence out of Michigan shows that few of the released prisoners have resumed committing grievous crimes.
Top Maryland Court Offers Hope to Hundreds in Adult Prison for Crimes Committed as Kids
A new ruling by the highest court in Maryland offers fresh hope to hundreds of offenders sent to prison for crimes they committed as minors.
Transitional Foster Youth in Wisconsin May Apply for Direct COVID Relief Payments
Transitional foster youth in Wisconsin could get up to $6,000 in direct payments to help them recover from the coronavirus pandemic.
Blalock Out, Vigil In as Head of New Mexico’s Child Welfare Agency
Brian Blalock, who presided over a reduction in the backlog of complaints about New Mexico’s child welfare system but also faced criticism for allegedly retaliating against whistleblowers, has stepped down as head of the state’s Children, Youth and Families Department.
End Child Poverty California Names New CEO
End Child Poverty California, a coalition of groups whose legislative and policy advocacy work has helped thousands of California kids, has a new leader.
North Carolina DSS Supervisor Pleads Guilty in Plea Bargain
A former Child Protective Unit supervisor in North Carolina has pleaded guilty to reduced charges in exchange for his testimony against higher-ups implicated in the wrongful removal of children.
Children’s Rights Names Shereen White As its First Policy Director
Children’s Rights, a national nonprofit that uses the law to improve public systems serving children, has named Shereen White as its first policy director.
Congressional Democrats Push Alternative Sentencing for Parents
Under an alternative sentencing bill recently reintroduced in the Senate, eligible parents or caregivers would be provided with resources to help keep their kids at home.
Youth Mental Health Crisis Driving Florida Families Apart
Child welfare officials on Florida's west coast have seen more children removed from their homes recently because of parents’ “inability to cope" with their mental health struggles.
Proper Supports Could Transform Child Welfare, Chapin Hall Brief Finds
A range of concrete and economic supports could sufficiently stabilize families and children to the point that they could avoid traumatic involvement with the child welfare system, according to a newly updated policy brief by researchers from Chapin Hall at the University of Chicago.
Georgia Child Welfare Director Quits After ‘Offensive’ Confrontation with Officer
The director of Georgia’s family and children’s services resigned after he demeaned a Black sheriff’s deputy on state property.
Peers Award New Hampshire Juvenile, Family Court Judge David King
The National Council of Juvenile and Family Court Judges has recognized family court judge David King with its Justice Innovation Award.
Government Seeks Comment on Possible Changes to Family First Handbook
The Biden administration may revise the handbook for evaluating services meant to prevent the use of foster care in some child welfare cases.
Newborns Benefit From Nurse Home Visits, Study Finds
Researchers at Duke University found that visits by a registered nurse to the homes of newborns can have significant, lasting positive effects.
Government to Study Traumatic Legacy of American Indian Boarding Schools
Interior Secretary Deb Haaland has ordered a landmark probe into the harmful, traumatic legacy of American Indian boarding schools.
Biden Picks Florida Lawyer to Lead Youth Workforce and Employment Development
President Joe Biden has chosen a former harsh critic of Florida’s unemployment system to oversee the Labor Department's Employment and Training Administration.
Lawmakers Back Funding for Foster Sibling Pilot Programs
A key group of Congress members is crediting a former foster youth with inspiring them to introduce legislation that would fund pilot programs for sibling groups in foster care.
Olivia Golden Stepping Down at Center for Law and Social Policy
Olivia Golden, who has run the poverty-fighting Center for Law and Social Policy since 2013, is stepping down early next year.
West Virginia Physician Rahul Gupta Picked as Drug Czar
The country’s next drug czar, if confirmed by the Senate, will be the first physician to hold the post, according to news reports.
Colorado Suddenly Closed Youth Services Center Amid Ongoing Complaints
Colorado closed a private residential center for youth with behavioral problems in the wake of ongoing allegations of licensing violations.
ACF Veteran Mishaela Durán Named President of the Forum for Youth Investment
A Washington, D.C.-based nonprofit with a goal to prepare youth for success in college, work and life before age 21 will have a deeply experienced new leader come September: Mishaela Durán.
Connecticut Establishes Baby Bond Program to Reduce Wealth Disparity
To address wealth disparity, Connecticut has set aside public funds that will establish trust funds for babies born July 1 and later.
Tennessee’s New Child-Related Laws Kick In
New laws affecting the protection of children went into effect July 1 in Tennessee, including one that increases the penalty for knowingly exposing children to dangerous drugs.
Massachusetts Commission Declines to Recommend Expansion of Mandated Reporters
The Mandated Reporter Commission in Massachusetts has failed to settle on a path forward on recommendations for expanding mandated reporting.
Bipartisan Task Force Calls for Juvenile Justice Overhaul in Pennsylvania
Pennsylvania’s juvenile justice system needs an overhaul to address pervasive violence and racial disparities, according to a bipartisan task force report.
Maine Governor Vetoes Closure of State’s Only Juvenile Lockup
Maine Gov. Janet Mills has vetoed the closure of the state’s only lockup youth facility, saying that shuttering it would pose a threat to public safety.
Redlich Horwitz Foundation Hires Jessica Maxwell as New Program Director
Redlich Horwitz Foundation, a major financial supporter of programs to strengthen New York's foster care system, has hired Jessica Maxwell.
Illinois Enhancing Support for LGBTQ Youth
Illinois will beef up services and existing mandatory training for staff members, partner organizations and foster care providers to improve how LGBTQ people are treated within the child welfare system.
Federal Bill Would Standardize Home Visit Process for Adoption, Foster Placement
A bipartisan group of federal lawmakers has introduced a resolution that would standardize the process of conducting home visits.
New Web-based Tools Process Claims for Tax Credits, Advance Payments
The government has launched a pair of new web portals to help families manage and track advance monthly payments of their child tax credits.
Virginia Governor Appoints Foster Care Watchdog
Virginia’s foster youth now have an official watchdog. In June, Gov. Ralph Northam appointed a director of the Office of Children’s Ombudsman.
Minnesota Lawmakers Could End Routine Shackling of Children in Court
Perhaps the ninth time will be the charm for lawmakers who want to ban the routine shackling of juvenile defendants in Minnesota courtrooms. Every year since 2013, legislation to do so has fallen short.
Colorado Expands Services for Transitional Foster Youth
Colorado youth who have transitioned out of foster care can re-enter the system if they wish to access services expanded under a new state law.
Influential Kids Count 2021 Report Paints Troubling Picture of Pandemic Effects
This year’s Kids Count Data Book, an annual snapshot of the well-being of children, paints a troubling picture of how the pandemic affected American families.
Kids with Foster Care Experience Report More Oral Health Problems Than Their Peers
Minnesota youth who have foster care experience are significantly more likely than their non-foster peers to report each of five dental problems and markedly less likely to report receiving dental care.
Georgia Swears in New Child Advocate
Georgia has a new leader to advocate for the rights of children and youth in the child welfare system and the services they are entitled to.
West Virginia Announces Plan to Restructure Child Welfare System
West Virginia is splitting part of its welfare bureau into two smaller pieces as part of a broader effort to improve the child welfare system.
Biden Picks Michael Smith to Run AmeriCorps
President Joe Biden has decided to tap the leader of the Obama Foundation’s My Brother’s Keeper Alliance program to oversee AmeriCorps, a federal agency that runs the largest service-learning program in the country.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
Restorative Justice Pioneer Gordon Bazemore Remembered
Gordon Bazemore, a pioneer of restorative justice, a reconciliation-based system of addressing criminal behavior, has died.
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 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.
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.
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.
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 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, 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.
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 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.
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 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 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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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 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 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.
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.
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.
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.
Study: Juvenile Incarceration Produces Mixed Results on Recidivism, Graduation Rates
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.
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.
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
Penn State Awards Equity-Minded Scholarships for Child Welfare Study
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.
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.
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.
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’
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
‘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.
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.
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.
Colleagues Mourn Death of Phyllis Brunson, Celebrate Her Advocacy for Kids, Families
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.
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
Missouri Governor Seeks Millions to Keep Teens Out of Adult System
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.
Campaign Begins to Repeal Major Federal Child Welfare Law
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.
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.
Hawaiian High Court: Parents’ Right to Counsel Starts At First Filing
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.
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
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
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.
Latest Democratic Dream Act Bill Takes Heat from Justice Advocates
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.
California Cleared to Use Medicaid for School Testing
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
Federal Judge Gives Final OK to Arizona’s Foster Care Improvement Plan
$1 Million to Fund New Phase of Fight Against Solitary Confinement for Youth
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.
Michigan Funds Homebuilders Model in Preparation for Family First Act
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.
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
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.
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.
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.
Federal Appeals Court Backs Special Education Rights of Jailed Youth
‘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.
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.
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
Bill Would Create One Million New Apprenticeships
Crowning Gift Means $75 Million for University of Chicago School of Social Services
Governor Shakes Up Guam’s Child Protection Services, Citing ‘Emergency’
Biden Takes Steps to Ease Food Insecurity Pronto
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.
Montana Gov. Greg Gianforte Plucks Child Welfare Nominee from Kentucky
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.
Casey Family Programs Honors Contributions to Children’s Well-being
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.
Doris Duke Charitable Foundation Names Sam Gill as New CEO
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
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
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.
National Foster Youth Institute Names New Director
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.
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
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.
‘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
California Youth Connection Board Selects Staffer as Its New Director
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.
Judge Formally Ends Oversight of 1985 Juvenile Justice Suit Against Washington, D.C.
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
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.
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.
Criminal Justice: Bill Would Establish Parental Diversion Program in Federal Courts
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.
New Jersey Sending Coronavirus Relief Checks to Older Foster Youth
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.
COVID-19 Prevention Measures Lacking in California Youth Prisons
Newsletter Sign up Email* CommentsThis field is for validation purposes and should be left unchanged. Δdocument.getElementById( "ak_js" ).setAttribute( "value", ( new Date() ).getTime() ); 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.
Federal Oversight May Return to Horizon Juvenile Center in the Bronx
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.
Federal Court Monitor: Violence Still Rampant in New York City Jails, Detention Centers
Connecticut Uses Coronavirus Relief to Provide Foster Parent Back Pay
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
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.
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
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 Tentatively Settles Major Federal Foster Care Lawsuit
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.
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.
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.
Missouri Tigers Football Players Tackle Foster Care Prevention
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.
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.
Residential Care Giant Devereux Hires ex-U.S. Attorney General Lynch to Audit Child Safety Practices
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
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.
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
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.
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.
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.
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.
National Youth Mentoring Model Faces Rigorous Final Test
Michigan Latest State to Target Adoption of Older Foster Youth
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.
Point Source Youth to Expand Footprint in Fight Against Youth Homelessness
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.”
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.
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.
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.
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.”
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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: www.imprintnews.org/coronavirus-kids-and-families