News Briefs

A vote to close Maine's youth prison was successful, but the legislation has to be signed by the governor, a former prosecutor.


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.

A watchdog agency in Washington is investigating alleged maltreatment of the state's foster care youth.


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.

The coronavirus pandemic meant more kids stayed in the child welfare system than the previous year, according to an AP analysis.


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. 

The director of South Carolina's Department of Juvenile Justice is under fire after the state Senate gave him a vote of no confidence after reports of poor conditions at the state's primary juvenile lockup facility.


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.

Both branches of the Oregon state legislature have voted to codify provisions of the Indian Child Welfare Act into state law.


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.

A court monitor found that Michigan's child welfare agency fell short of its goals in the first half of 2020.


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.

As New York legalizes marijuana, parent advocates push child welfare agencies to be less punitive


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 say they need state money to comply with a requirement to pay its kinship caregivers a higher rate.


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.