Michigan Draws A Line on Terminating Parental Rights

My client in a Michigan child welfare case had already suffered from Crohn’s Disease, which hampered his ability to hold a job and resulted in frequent hospital visits, when tragedy struck.


Moving Child Welfare from A Reaction to A Response

One benefit of an extended career in child welfare settings is that you begin to understand the concept of capacity. I’m not offering this as sage advice or cynical wisdom, nor as a pup social worker who is naïve and imagines that every family and every system can be set on the right track. 


Welcoming A New Fostering Media Connections: A Letter From Our Publisher

Dear Friends, 

Tomorrow, I will be stepping down as president of Fostering Media Connections (FMC). 

I am happy to announce that John Kelly and Christie Renick have been unanimously named by our Board of Directors as co-executive directors.


Family First Act’s Standards Are Not Culturally Inclusive

Child welfare philanthropic and policy organizations across the country have started to make investments to address racial disparity and disproportionality. Some of these investments include disaggregating data by race, policy and practice reviews, and community engagement.


Lucky to Have Me
Road sign in Democratic Republic of Congo. Photo: Krossbow, Creative Commons

One day about two years ago, my older sister came home and said, “Pack a bag. We are leaving the country.’’


New York City’s Mistaken Child Welfare Priorities

Once again, New York City is reeling from the murder of a child. The circumstances around the killing of 10-year-old Ayden Wolfe are eerily familiar – a vulnerable mother, a new partner with a history of violence and the loss of an innocent child.


Ethical Challenges Remain in The World of Private Adoptions

Adoption practices continue to challenge the ethics of social workers due to myriad conflicting interests which have existed since the practice began. Dangerous informal child care arrangements in the early to mid 1900s have been replaced by a patchwork of state and federal laws, regulations and child care practices meant to serve the best interests of everyone associated with adoption, but we continue to allow for ethically concerning “wrongful” adoptions.  

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Foster Parents are Essential Workers and Should Not Be Overlooked

After a long year of fear, loss and traumatic uncertainty, the availability of vaccines protecting against COVID-19 is a welcome, necessary relief. Health care workers, teachers and the elderly have been rightly prioritized for access, but many vulnerable people are still waiting for eligibility.


For Child Welfare Advocates and Leaders, The Framing Matters

With the final deadline for implementation of the Family First Prevention Services Act coming in October, child welfare policymakers and practitioners are looking to how best to utilize title IV-E funding for a range of prevention services, including mental health, substance abuse, and in-home parent skill-based programs for children or youth who are candidates for foster care.