Report: Anti-LGBTQ Laws Across the U.S. Hamper a Huge, Untapped Pool of Prospective Adoptive and Foster Parents

Since the U.S. legalized same-sex marriage in 2015, several states have passed laws allowing publicly funded child welfare organizations to exclude millions of LGBTQ adults as potential foster parents. This, combined with a Trump administration executive order on religious liberty, is cause for concern over the future of child welfare programs, according to a new policy brief from the Human Rights Campaign (HRC).


How Status Offenses Shape a Youth’s Path Through the Justice System

A new report released by the Vera Institute of Justice reveals the detrimental consequences of status offenses on youth on probation. In Just Kids: When Misbehaving is a Crime, Mahsa Jafarian and Vidhya Ananthakrishnan describe how status offenses unfairly criminalize young people and increase the likelihood of youth partaking in more serious criminal activity.


Top Five Threats to Child Welfare from the Senate Health Care Repeal Proposal

The Senate’s proposal to repeal the Affordable Care Act (ACA) and to sharply cut Medicaid payments to states through so-called per capita caps can sound very abstract to social workers and policymakers coping with the day-to-day tragedies and crises of child welfare.

Senator Chuck Grassley


Senate Introduces Bill Targeting Needs of Crossover Youth

Yesterday, Senators Gary Peters (D-Michigan) and Chuck Grassley (R-Iowa) introduced legislation to address the needs of the nation’s most at-risk youth. The Child Outcomes Need New Efficient Community Teams (CONNECT) Act seeks to improve outcomes for youth in contact with both the juvenile justice and child welfare systems.

Jim Beall. Photo credit


Bill to Support California “Crossover” Youth Sidelined, but Advocates Remain Hopeful

California’s Senate Bill 12, which would expand benefits and support for transition-age foster youth who have also been involved with probation, was sidelined in late August. The bill was cosponsored by Senator Jim Beall (D) and the San Francisco-based Youth Law Center, and would ensure that foster youth who end up in the justice system when they become adults have access to the same transition assistance that their peers do.


House and Senate Budgets Propose Slashing Family Planning Program Funding

Both houses of Congress proposed measures last month to decrease funding for the Title X Family Planning program and the Teen Pregnancy Prevention Program for the 2016 fiscal budget. Title X of the Public Health Service Act gives low-income people access to contraception, counseling and screening for sexually transmitted infections, while the Teen Pregnancy Prevention Program focuses a similar array of services on teens and vulnerable subpopulations.

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    Two Things to Watch on Group Care Discussions in Senate

    Lexie Gruber and her sister couldn’t live at home anymore, but her uncle was ready and willing to welcome both girls with open arms. The State of Connecticut deemed his house unfit because it did not have enough bedrooms.

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    Adoption Incentives Bill Stalled Until Fall (At Least)

    After the House passed an adoption incentives bill by voice vote in late July, there was hope that the legislation, H.R. 4980, would be whisked through the Senate and make its way to the president’s desk for a signature while it was still relentlessly humid in Washington.


    The “Reason Two” Theory for Tracking Failed Adoptions

    There is a major blind spot in national data when it comes to the child welfare continuum, and it is on the back end. The federal government has never established a systematic way to collect information from states about the number of finalized adoptions of foster youths that “disrupted,” ending with a youth heading back to foster care.