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. 


Minnesota Considers Expanding Support for Parent Mentors to Help Reunite Families

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

Youth Services Insider


A Federal Thumbs Up for Co-Parenting in Foster Care

In 2019, Nebraska announced plans for a pilot project in which foster parents would play a starring role in the reunification process, going beyond the traditional role of a caregiver for kids.


Families in Limbo: Coronavirus Hobbles Reunifications from Foster Care

This week was supposed to be a triumphant one for a Northern California mother of two, a 39-year-old home health aide. Soon after a long-scheduled court date at the Sonoma County Hall of Justice this week, she imagined she would soon be able to gather her 1-year-old daughter in her arms at last and end what has been the most terrifying experience of her life: the seven months her toddler has spent in foster care.


California Courts Must Hold Some Child Welfare Hearings, Try to Continue In-Person Family Visits

California county courts must continue to hold hearings on cases where children are in foster care or have been placed in juvenile detention, and child welfare systems must try to facilitate in-person visits for separated families, according to new rules approved today by the California Judicial Council. 


During Pandemic, New York and Los Angeles Take Different Paths on Family Visits

Two of the largest urban foster care systems in the country went in opposite directions on a key question facing every community right now: Whether or not to continue family visits between foster youth and their parents or guardians as the nation retreats indoors to fight the spread of coronavirus. 


A Crisis Reveals the Need to Modernize Juvenile Courts

This week, I received word that many courts – including the juvenile court in which I practice – were closing. That is, for the indefinite future, my court would not be holding any hearings, other than emergency hearings, to address whether a child needs to be removed for their immediate safety.


Some Welcome Federal Input on Foster Home Recruitment and Family Visitation

Two years ago this month, the Family First Prevention Services Act became law and spurred bold reforms in child welfare. By realigning federal funding, Family First is driving system changes to keep more families safely together as well as improve the quality of foster care for children and youth who cannot remain safely at home.


Michigan Rolls Out Plan to Expand, Improve Legal Counsel in Child Welfare Court

Michigan’s child welfare agency announced that it will work with any interested local court system to help access new federal funds available for the legal representation of parents and children in child welfare courts.