1/14/2021

The Value of Leaving the Door Open for Families
Vivek Sankaran, University of Michigan School of Law

As I started to clean up the kitchen after Christmas dinner with my family, a text message appeared on my phone. The message simply read, “Merry Christmas,” with a picture attached.

Family First Act

1/14/2021

While Trump Separated Families, One of His Appointees Fought To Keep Them Together. Will Biden Keep Him Around?
Jerry Milner testifies before a House Ways and Means subcommittee about implementation of the Family First Prevention Services Act in July of 2018.

In June of 2018, at the height of the Trump administration’s “zero tolerance” border policy separating thousands of migrant children from their parents, one presidential appointee delivered a very different message to a small group of American parents who had struggled with the foster care system: Jerry Milner, head of the U.S.

Youth Services Insider

1/13/2021

On Way Out, Administration Stresses Civil Legal Advocacy and Racial Equity in Child Welfare

The traditional flurry of last-minute child welfare policy work from the Administration for Children and Families continued yesterday, with two memoranda on civil legal advocacy, and the lessons of and opportunities created by the coronavirus pandemic. 

1/12/2021

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.

1/7/2021

Why These Parents Returned to a System That Took Their Kids Away
A group of newly hired parent advocates in Los Angeles with a past in the child welfare system are providing advice and assistance to others with children placed into foster care.

12/28/2020

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. 

12/23/2020

Toward Relentless Support of Families

Poet David Whyte writes, “Start close in, don’t take the second step or the third, start with the first thing close in, the step you don’t want to take.”

I’m thinking of Whyte’s words this morning as my client – a mother who for years has battled an addiction to drugs – prepares to enter an in-patient drug treatment program, days before Christmas.

12/21/2020

How the Biden Administration Can Address Hidden Foster Care

The Biden administration will inherit a foster care system in which states report removing more than 200,000 children from their families every year.  

Joshua Gupta-Kagan, University of South Carolina School of Law

The real number is far higher, thanks to a practice that I call “hidden foster care.”

12/21/2020

Biden’s Child Welfare Focus Should Be Removing Poverty from Neglect
Diane Redleaf, co-founder, United Family Advocates. Photo courtesy of Redleaf

The incoming Biden administration may already be inundated with learned policy papers and dense reports about how to fix the child welfare system.