Alex Villanueva

Youth Services Insider


Family First Act Services Can Be Delivered Remotely During Pandemic, Feds Say

The U.S. Children’s Bureau notified state and local child welfare leaders this week that newly funded services under the Family First Prevention Services Act can be delivered remotely for the duration of the coronavirus pandemic.


L.A. County Moves A Step Forward in a New Approach to Juvenile Justice

Supporting radical changes to its juvenile justice system, the Los Angeles County Board of Supervisors on Tuesday endorsed a sweeping plan that would move hundreds of young people out of juvenile halls and detention camps run by the Probation Department.


New York Lawmaker Pushes City Agencies to Fast-Track Youth Rental Assistance
New York City Council member Stephen Levin (D) of Brooklyn is pushing for housing vouchers for young adults leaving foster care or the runaway and homeless youth shelter system. Credit: New York City Council

Visibly frustrated with two city agencies responsible for preventing homelessness among young adults aging out of foster care, a New York City Council member said in a virtual public meeting Tuesday he would force changes through legislation to grant easier access to housing vouchers for youth with no home to call their own.


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


Federal Roundtables with Foster Youth Find Them Feeling Supported, But Uncertain

Over the fall months, leadership at the Children’s Bureau held 12 roundtable discussions with current and former foster youth around the country, aiming to hear directly from the source about how the coronavirus pandemic was impacting their lives.


Child Welfare Must Face History To Get Past It

I have been thinking a lot lately about James Baldwin’s wise assertion that “People are trapped in history and history is trapped in them.” 

History is deeply embedded in the child welfare system.


Sticker Shock: The Cost of New York’s Youth Prisons Approaches $1 Million Per Kid
The Brookwood Secure Center in Claverack, New York, is one of 11 locked juvenile facilities operated by the Office of Children and Family Services. Photo: Steven Yoder

A dozen years ago, New York state revealed that taxpayers were shelling out $140,000 to $200,000 each year to house each young person in the state’s juvenile facilities.


New York City Moves to Limit Drug Testing of Pregnant Women
New York City moved this week to curb hospital drug testing of new and expecting mothers, a widespread and controversial practice that can lead to newborns being placed in foster care at perhaps the most delicate stage of life.