Wednesday, March 30, 2011

Summer Institutes Registration Open! CLE and CEU are available!

We are pleased to announce that the registration for the 2011 Summer Institutes is now available. Anyone interested in adoption and child welfare topics should consider registering for either (or both!) the Interdisciplinary Child Welfare Institute (ICWI) or the Summer Adoption Law Institute, (SALI) which are organized by the National Center for Adoption Law & Policy at Capital University Law School.

The Interdisciplinary Child Welfare Institute (ICWI) will take place July 25-29 and the Summer Adoption Law Institute (SALI) will take place August 1–5 at Capital University Law School in Columbus, Ohio. Both courses are dynamic, one-week intensive two credit hour classes.
Click here for more information.

Thursday, March 24, 2011

Adoption Academy Domestic Track to begin April 4th in Columbus, Ohio

The Adoption Academy, presented by The National Center for Adoption Law & Policy and Nationwide Children’s Hospital, takes the mystery out of the adoption process. This 12 week series offers prospective adoptive parents objective information in a comprehensive and sensitive manner to help prospective parents make informed choices. Please pass this link on to anyone you know who may be considering adoption.

Capital Law students help ease foreclosure worries

Wednesday, March 23, 2011

Child Welfare in the News - March 22, 2011

AZ: Adoption priorities: SB 1188 would favor married couples
Jewish News of Greater Phoenix March 4, 2011
"The intent of the legislation is to establish the principle that, where possible, children being placed for adoption deserve the chance to have a mom and dad," Herrod said. "If all things are equal, and the choice is between a married mom and dad and a single adult, the child should be placed with a married mom and dad." That sounds innocuous, but it isn't, according to Dana Naimark, president and CEO of the Children's Action Alliance, since approximately 30 percent of children adopted out of the Arizona foster-care system are brought into single-parent homes.

CA: New OC rule aims to protect kids from registered sex March 22, 2011A new ordinance is pushing to make it a crime for registered sex offenders to enter areas where children regularly gather in Orange County. If the ordinance is adopted, it would limit where registered sex offenders would be allowed to go. There are more than 3,000 registered sex offenders in Orange County alone.

CA: Local Congressman Pete Stark Fights Confiscation of Foster Children’s Social Security Benefits
Bay Citizen March 22, 2011
For foster children like Myers, access to OASDI and SSI benefits can be a critical boon. But according to the report, state administrations redirect $150 million a year in such benefits to pay for the routine administration of foster care: shelter, food and other necessities.

FL: Florida child welfare workers need better pay, lighter caseloads to be more effective
News-Press March 22, 2011
To achieve a high degree of effectiveness, a strong motivating vision and a well-paid staff (paid, for example, as well as teachers) are needed. Much lower caseloads are also required (40 cases is an impossible load). The 12 to 15 recommended by the Child Welfare League of America makes it possible to be effective.

FL: First foster students about to graduate from UCFOrlando Sentinel March 22, 2011
Dinoski was one of approximately 23,000 Florida children living in foster care as a teenager, one of about 1,000 who left the foster care program when turning 18, and one of the 2.5 percent much closer to graduating from college, according the statistics from the department's handbook, "On Your Own But Not Alone.",0,5153617.story

IA: State penalizes Family ResourcesQuad City Times March 22, 2011
The state of Iowa has temporarily downgraded Family Resources Inc.’s license after an investigation into an alleged sexual assault at the Wittenmyer Youth Center campus in Davenport.

NH: Hospitals, families bear brunt of NH budget cuts
The Associated Press State & Local Wire March 22, 2011
State Rep. Neal Kurk, a Weare Republican, told the House Finance Committee that his subcommittee's recommendations total $207 million in cuts to services and programs funded from state taxes in the Department and Health and Human Services' budget. The cuts will mean the loss of another $165 million in federal funds for the programs.

NY: Reintroducing Regina Calcaterra, Foster Child March 22, 2011
After months in the political spotlight, the 44-year-old attorney and New Suffolk resident, who grew up in poverty in an abusive family environment, is now spearheading an effort to get the word out about You Gotta Believe, a Coney-Island based organization dedicated to helping foster children on Long Island become adopted into permanent homes before they age out of the county's system at 18 or 21— and become homeless.

NY: Judge orders city, ACS to ID case workers who monitored still-missing boy, 7
New York Post March 21, 2011
Judge John Gleeson in Brooklyn federal court threw out the suit against the city and its Administration for Children's Services agency, but ruled that Rodriguez now can bring a new lawsuit against individual workers from ACS and St. Vincent's Services, whom she blames for not supervising her boy's foster care.

OH: Baby Vanessa case revealed flaws in state’s parental registry system
Dayton Daily News March 19, 2011
Under Ohio law, fathers are given 30 days to make a paternity claim through what is known as the Ohio Putative Father Registry. Mills registered on June 25, 2008 — 12 days after Vanessa’s birth at Miami Valley Hospital and nine days before Doss brought her home to California. Under current law, an attorney, adoption agency or parent is required to search the registry before an adoption is finalized, but not before the baby is placed in a prospective home. Critics say that can set the stage for a complicated custody battle.

OK: Helping churches establish foster care and adoption ministries
News OK March 19, 2011
Robin Jones, executive director of the Office of Faith-based and Community Initiatives, said the conference is designed to help churches that are interested in establishing foster care and adoption ministries.

OK: Two new reports claim DHS is failing to protect children
Tulsa World March 22, 2011
Based on evidence shared in a federal class-action lawsuit over the state's foster-care system, two experts commissioned by the New York-based Children's Rights group condemn the Oklahoma Department of Human Services as a mismanaged agency.

OR: Oregon Considers Free Tuition For Foster KidsKTVZ March 22, 2011Current and former Oregon foster children could get the opportunity to go to college for free. That's the idea behind a bill getting a public hearing in the Legislature on Tuesday.


JAPAN: Foreigners Looking to Adopt Japanese Earthquake Orphans Need Not ApplyFox News March 22, 2011“I have been receiving many strange emails, from mostly U.S., and was asked, ‘I want girl, less than 6 months old, healthy child,’ Tazuru Ogaway, director of the Japanese adoption agency Across Japan, told “I honestly tell you such a kind of emails makes Japanese people very uncomfortable, because for us, sound like someone who are looking for ‘what I want’ from our terrible disaster.”

Child Welfare in the News is distributed at no charge by Child Welfare Information Gateway (, a service of the Children's Bureau/ACF/HHS ( It features news stories on topics of interest to child welfare and related professionals. Inclusion does not imply endorsement of any view expressed in an article, and opinions or views do not reflect those of Child Welfare Information Gateway, the Children's Bureau, or staff. Other free subscriptions from Child Welfare Information Gateway are available at:

Saturday, March 19, 2011

Child Welfare in the News - March 18, 2011

AR: Alamo ministries appeal dismissal of lawsuit
Associated Press March 17, 2011
An attorney for Tony Alamo Christian Ministries has asked a federal appeals court to reinstate the church's lawsuit against the Arkansas Department of Human Services.

CA: Project Cuddle helps match adoptive families, children
Orange County Register March 17, 2011
Project Cuddle has had a hand in rescuing 676 children since 1996, including one in Fullerton. Project Cuddle is not an adoption agency, but screens families willing to adopt.

CO: Charges filed against parents of missing Colo boys
Associated Press March 17, 2011
Prosecutors in Colorado charged the adoptive parents of two missing brothers with theft, forgery and other crimes Thursday as authorities searched for the children, who disappeared in 2003 without anyone reporting they were gone.

FL: House measure caps child-welfare damages
The News Service of Florida March 17, 2011
A measure that would cap damages for pain and suffering by children in Florida's child welfare system was approved by a House committee Wednesday after impassioned testimony from both supporters and critics.

GA: Pilot program to review use of psychotropic prescription drugs in Georgia's foster care system
Associated Press March 18, 2011
The pilot program will be funded by Casey Family Programs and run out of the Barton Child Law and Policy Center at Emory University Law School in partnership with the Georgia Department of Human Services.

MA: State reneges on college for foster kids, parents charge
WCVB March 17, 2011
Flueckiger received a letter from the state explaining, "the demand for fall fee waivers, unfortunately, has exceeded the $935,000 appropriation for this program" and now "zero funds are available."

MO: Mo. House OKs fund to help recruit foster parents
Associated Press March 18, 2011
The Missouri House has approved legislation that would let taxpayers donate part of their state refunds to support for foster care and adoptions.

NJ: Appeals court rules N.J. woman must adopt baby born through artificial insemination of a surrogate
The Star-Ledger March 18, 2011
The boy, conceived with a donor egg and carried by a surrogate, is not the son of the woman in the eyes of the law because she did not give birth to him and has no genetic link to him, an appellate court declared last month. If she wants be named the child’s mother, she must adopt him, the court said.

NY: Helping parents with children in foster care
Epoch Times March 16, 2011
The city's child welfare system has been making an effort to engage birth parents of children living in foster homes, to help these parents improve their situation and maintain a relationship with their children. The Parent Advocate Initiative (PAI) was created to enlist the help of parents who had successfully resolved their cases and brought their children back to a happier home.

OH: Agency says ethnic foster homes tough to recruit
Columbus Dispatch March 17, 2011
Licensed Muslim foster homes were rare in 2003. And despite what the agency calls an all-out recruiting effort, they still are. "We only have one. But it certainly is not for lack of trying," spokeswoman Doris Calloway Moore said.

OK: Oklahoma failing to protect children in state custody, report alleges
Tulsa World Mach 17, 2011
A national watchdog group released a report Thursday charging the Oklahoma Department of Human Services with failing to protect children in state custody from abuse or neglect.
Report available at

WA: Fatal fire at Arlington foster home forces changes to state policy
The Herald March 18, 2011
One of those changes may include more in-depth fire safety training for caregivers overseeing children under state supervision. A work group also may be assigned to study issues at homes serving children with special needs, according to a report released Thursday.

Child Welfare in the News is distributed at no charge by Child Welfare Information Gateway (, a service of the Children's Bureau/ACF/HHS ( It features news stories on topics of interest to child welfare and related professionals. Inclusion does not imply endorsement of any view expressed in an article, and opinions or views do not reflect those of Child Welfare Information Gateway, the Children's Bureau, or staff. Other free subscriptions from Child Welfare Information Gateway are available at:

Thursday, March 17, 2011

Child Welfare in the News - March 17, 2011

AL: No state funding a possibility for children advocacy centers across Alabama
WAAYTV March 16, 2011
Officials at the National Children's Advocacy Center in Huntsville say it's possible the state's 29 centers could lose around $900,000 in state funding if state legislators approve Governor Robert Bentley's budget proposal.

AR: Debate over unmarried couples adopting or fostering children goes to state Supreme Court this morning
KATV March 17, 2011
The Arkansas Supreme Court will hear oral arguments on the ban on allowing unmarried couples to be foster parents or adopt children. Voters approved the restrictions, known as Arkansas Act One, in November 2008 by 57-percent.

FL: Florida agency defends its work after children found in canal
CNN March 15, 2011
Child welfare officials Tuesday defended their involvement with the family of a woman whose two children were found dead in a south Florida canal, saying Felicia Brown "deserved a chance to have her children back."

FL: Before latest child death, ominous warning signs
Miami Herald March 16, 2011
Before the latest death of a Florida child – 4-month-old Jerry Correa – there were signs of family turmoil that were known to child welfare workers.

FL: Foster care agencies looking for legal shield
Palm Beach Post March 16, 2011
Legislation capping legal damages for agencies providing foster care services cleared a House committee Wednesday, despite emotional testimony from opponents who said lawmakers are putting dollars ahead of the safety of children in a troubled system.

NC: Crowd berates Swain commissioners, supports DSS board
Smoky Mountain News March 16, 2011
A large crowd turned out at the Swain County commissioners meeting this week to voice support for the beleaguered Department of Social Services Board. Supporters said local board members tasked with overseeing the agency have been unfairly criticized following the death of 15-month-old baby and a criminal investigation into an alleged cover-up.

OH: Ohio budget would cut funds for kids' caregivers
Associated Press March 16, 2011
The cuts in the proposal include eliminating funding for the Kinship Permanency Incentive program, which provides up to $2,250 over three years for caregivers who are awarded court custody of children.

PA: Philadelphia priest in court over abuser transfers
Associated Press March 15, 2011
Monsignor William Lynn entered a Philadelphia courtroom Monday as the only Roman Catholic church official ever charged with endangering children for allegedly transferring priest-predators to unsuspecting U.S. parishes.

WI: Appleton police look into possible delay of child abuse reports at Janet Berry Elementary School
Post-Crescent March 17, 2011
Police are investigating whether Appleton school officials followed legal protocol in reporting suspicions of child abuse by an elementary school special education teacher.

US: Lesbian, gay parents likely to be anxious, depressed
Between The Lines News March 17, 2011
Same-sex couples with adopted children living in states with anti-gay adoption laws and attitudes had more mental health issues in their first year of parenthood than couples with adopted children living in more accepting states, a new study has found.


ENGLAND/WALES: Hundreds 'sue local authorities over child abuse'
BBC News March 17, 2011
Hundreds of young people are trying to sue local authorities in England and Wales for failing to remove them from abusive homes, lawyers are claiming.

Police seize alleged child sex offenders in worldwide operation
CNN March 16, 2011
Europol said 670 suspects have been identified, 184 arrests have been made, 230 children have been rescued, and investigations are continuing in a case authorities are calling Operation Rescue.

Child Welfare in the News is distributed at no charge by Child Welfare Information Gateway (, a service of the Children's Bureau/ACF/HHS ( It features news stories on topics of interest to child welfare and related professionals. Inclusion does not imply endorsement of any view expressed in an article, and opinions or views do not reflect those of Child Welfare Information Gateway, the Children's Bureau, or staff. Other free subscriptions from Child Welfare Information Gateway are available at:

Wednesday, March 16, 2011

Child Welfare in the News - March 16, 2011

CA: California adoption custody battle settlesSan Jose Mercury News March 15, 2011A spokeswoman for Stacey Doss said Tuesday that Doss will drop her petition to adopt baby Vanessa after a settlement was reached in an Ohio courtroom.

FL: Abuse Report Recommends Supervising HomeschoolersHome School Legal Defense Association March 15, 2011The Nubia Report special investigators recommended changing Florida law to mandate supervision of adoptive parents in a way that is not done, to our knowledge, anywhere else in this country. The proposal would enact a state law or rule to require adoptive parents to be visited on a regular basis simply if they decide to teach their children at home.

FL: DCF investigator in Barahona case to appeal her firingPalm Beach Post March 16, 2011Fleary's attorney, Matthew Ladd, said in a statement that he would appeal the decision with the Public Employees Relations Commission.

FL: Prescription drug abuse leads to spike in neglect cases, child protection investigators say
St. Petersburg Times March 14, 2011
Child neglect cases stemming from overuse are up, and many involve seemingly ... Child abuse investigators say cases of child abuse and neglect involving ... Office child protection investigation division saw child welfare court cases ...

IA: Guest opinion column: Bill addresses due rights in cases of child abuse
Des Moines Register March 15, 2011
The Legislature is moving forward with significant revisions to Iowa's child abuse registry. A bill is in process that attempts to reconcile two significant and divergent interests - protecting children while addressing the due process rights of Iowans.

OR: Oregon House endorses bill requiring computer techs to report suspected child March 15, 2011Computer technicians who discover child pornography will be required to report their suspicions under a bill that passed the Oregon House by unanimous vote Tuesday.

US: States' use of foster kids' benefits is assailed
Seattle Post Intelligencer March 15, 2011
With a lawsuit, congressional efforts and a stinging new report, critics of current foster-care policies are accusing child welfare agencies of unfairly confiscating foster youths' government benefits and undermining their prospects when they age out of the system.
Report available 03/16/2011 afternoon at

Child Welfare in the News is distributed at no charge by Child Welfare Information Gateway (, a service of the Children's Bureau/ACF/HHS ( It features news stories on topics of interest to child welfare and related professionals. Inclusion does not imply endorsement of any view expressed in an article, and opinions or views do not reflect those of Child Welfare Information Gateway, the Children's Bureau, or staff. Other free subscriptions from Child Welfare Information Gateway are available at:

Tuesday, March 15, 2011


The National Center for Adoption Law & Policy presents the National Child Welfare & Adoption Moot Court Competition on March 18-19, 2011. Volunteer attorneys and judges/magistrates are needed to judge rounds on March 18th at the Ohio Statehouse and March 19th at the Supreme Court of Ohio. Detailed information i available on the com...petition webpage at:

Child Welfare in the News - March 15, 2011

FL: 'Fatal ineptitude' causes state child welfare shakeup, firings
Florida Courier March 14, 2011
In response to the scathing report of an independent panel, the new secretary of the Florida Department of Children and Families is firing and reprimanding employees, overhauling the state's child abuse hotline and hiring 80 new investigators. Also:

FL: DCF to overhaul abuse hotline after girl's death
Tampa Bay Online March 14, 2011
The head of Florida's child welfare agency announced major changes Monday to an abuse hot line and other sweeping remedies intended to help overburdened child protective investigators after the death of a 10-year-old girl whose body was found in her adoptive father's truck.

IA: Guest opinion column: Bill addresses due rights in cases of child March 13, 2011
It did not specifically include lack of supervision as one of those offenses. And on that basis, the court made its initial ruling. Due to the court's ruling, the DHS determined that it may be forced to remove half of the nearly 60,000 people on the registry.

NV: Cutting child services? Lawmakers shouldn’t gut budgets for critical programs to protect children
Las Vegas Sun March 14, 2011
In testimony before the Legislature this month, Tom Morton, director of the county’s Family Services Department, said things have improved. He said the number of children at the shelter daily has been reduced from more than 200 in 2006 to fewer than 10 last year, and the number of days children stay in foster care has been reduced by 41 percent. More significantly, there have been no deaths of children in an open case since October 2007 — in the first part of that year, there were nine child deaths in open cases.

NH: $209 million slashed from HHS budget ; Deep cuts proposed for social services
Concord Monitor (New Hampshire) March 15, 2011
Last week, Health and Human Services Commissioner Nick Toumpas presented the House Finance Committee with a list of $346 million in potential cuts. Toumpas made clear that he did not support the cuts, which he believes would shift costs to cities and towns and dismantle the infrastructure the department has set up to maintain services for vulnerable citizens.

NY: City to Revise Treatment of Children in Foster CareNew York Times March 14, 2011
New York City is no longer allowed to keep troubled foster-care children in psychiatric hospitals after doctors have recommended their release, and must closely adhere to laws that require such children to be placed in the least restrictive setting possible, after reaching a settlement agreement in federal court last week.

OK: Adoption process decried
Tulsa World (Oklahoma) March 13, 2011
"It's not any one thing they do to you," she explains. "It's a hundred little things that add up to making you feel intimidated and harassed, like you've done something wrong by asking to adopt these precious little children who need a home."

OR: Sex abuse law offers imperfect solutions
Statesman Journal (Salem, Oregon) March 11, 2011
Such was the debate this week when Oregon lawmakers opened the first public hearing on House Bill 3057, which would end the time limits for prosecuting sex crimes against minors. The testimony was vigorous, and the hearing spilled over into a second day.

PA: Fund used to fill gaps in social service budgets will be cut under Gov. Tom Corbett's proposed budget March 14, 2011
If Gov. Tom Corbett’s budget is passed as presented, that money and money for scores of similar programs across the state will disappear. The administration wants to eliminate the fund — a total of $23 million this year split between the state’s 67 counties. Counties use that money, often doled in a few thousand dollars at a time, to fill gaps in their social service budgets and keep vulnerable residents a step ahead of destitution.

TX: A tale of two mamas
The Houston Chronicle March 13, 2011
Robinowitz argued that CPS plotted from the beginning to give the baby to another family and received the cooperation of Judge Shelton, who placed the baby with a foster family pre-cleared for adoption and ordered the mother and the Porters to have no contact with the baby. Unaware of the other couple's intentions to adopt, Porter pressed CPS for months to do the home study that would make her eligible. Whether through incompetence or design, the study was begun but not completed.

US: OC mother wins right to keep Baby Vanessa in a case followed by legal scholarsLos Angeles Times March 14, 2011
The settlement could end legal proceedings in the case, which legal scholars believed had the potential to go to the Supreme Court to explore the issue of children’s rights in foster care situations. Also:


UK: Child abuse images removed fasterBBC News March 15, 2011Internet companies are getting better at removing images of child sexual abuse, according to the charity that monitors the problem.

CAMBODIA & VIET NAM: US envoy to take up Cambodia, Vietnam adoption
Straights Times March 14, 2011
A US ENVOY will head this week to Vietnam and Cambodia to look at ways to resume adoptions, which have been suspended due to concerns over child trafficking, the State Department said on Monday.

JAPAN: Abducted to Japan: Hundreds of American Children Taken
ABC News February 16, 2011
Among the circles of left-behind parents in the U.S., many of them fathers, Japan is known as a safe haven for parental abductions. Once in Japan, the parent who abducted the child is protected by their government's unwillingness to sign the Hague Convention, a treaty that provides for the return of abducted children to the other parent.

Child Welfare in the News is distributed at no charge by Child Welfare Information Gateway (, a service of the Children's Bureau/ACF/HHS ( It features news stories on topics of interest to child welfare and related professionals. Inclusion does not imply endorsement of any view expressed in an article, and opinions or views do not reflect those of Child Welfare Information Gateway, the Children's Bureau, or staff. Other free subscriptions from Child Welfare Information Gateway are available at:

Child Welfare in the News - March 14, 2011

CO: Search for adopted boys uncovers subsidy lapses
Denver Post March 14, 2011
Under Colorado's current system, social workers aren't allowed to check on children once they've been adopted unless there is an allegation of abuse or neglect — even in cases such as the Bryants where the children have been identified as having "special needs" and the parents are eligible for government subsidies.

CT: Bill would expand notice of child abuse complaints
Connecticut Post March 12, 2011
A Connecticut legislative committee has endorsed a proposal that requires state child welfare officials to inform parents who don't have custody of their children about abuse or neglect complaints that involve their children.

FL: 'A thousand skills' required for DCF investigators
Palm Beach Post March 13, 2011
"Some of these cases are extremely difficult," said Mike Watkins, former statewide director of family safety for the Florida Department of Children and Families. "The stakes are tremendously high: the safety and well-being of children. There are a thousand skills a CPI has to have. The human dynamics are very complex."

FL: Scott Says DCF Budget Cuts Needed to Grow Jobs
WCTV March 11, 2011
Talking to reporters after addressing the Broward Workshop, a business group, Scott called recent high-profile cases of children who were horrifically abused or killed "tragic" and said he was confident the Department of Children and Families would devise a plan to address its shortcomings. But he said the agency would still need to make do with less.

FL: Prescription drug abuse leads to spike in neglect cases, child protection investigators say
St. Petersburg Times March 14, 2011
In Pasco County, the news is even worse. Between 2008 and 2010, cases of child neglect or abuse where investigators determined drugs were being misused rose 108 percent, said Kevin Doll, spokesman for the Pasco County Sheriff's Office.

NY: $27,620 grant will be used to investigate abuse, neglect
Buffalo News March 12, 2011
The grant will allow four people who are part of the child abuse response in Niagara County to attend specialized training on conducting forensic interviews for children with special needs

OH: Jury still out on Muslim mom's lawsuit: Family accuses Children Services caseworker of discrimination
Columbus Dispatch March 12, 2011
They remained apart for about a year, during which time Mrs. AbdulSalaam said the agency refused to place her children in a Muslim foster home and allowed the girls to attend a Christian church with their foster parents. Also:

OH: Child advocate argues for funding flexibility from feds
Columbus Dispatch March 11, 2011
Allowing child-welfare agencies to spend federal foster-care money on other programs and services leads to dramatic reductions in the numbers of children removed from their homes, an Ohio advocate told a U.S. Senate committee yesterday.

SC: Child advocacy center grows in case load
NECN March 14, 2011
The CARE House of the Pee Dee provided services to more than 700 neglected and abused children in the Pee Dee last year, making it the second busiest child advocacy center in the state.

UT: Amish, polygamists find common ground on tackling abuse within communities
Salt Lake Tribune March 11, 2011
The Safety Net Clinical Conference brought together about 100 people, including child protective staff, social workers and doctors, to educate them on how best to communicate with and help people from plural families. Polygamists don’t often come to the government for help — Draper didn’t when she left the FLDS Church. If they do reach out, she said, it’s important to treat them as individuals who don’t need to be “rescued.”

WI: Audit finds progress at Bureau of Milwaukee Child Welfare March 13, 2011
"The bureau has made tremendous progress transforming its child welfare system over the last several years improving the basic safety and well-being of the many vulnerable children in its care," Thompson said.


ETHIOPIA: Ethiopian adoptions may be in peril
Washington Times March 11, 2011
As with other countries whose programs have been shut down (i.e. Nepal, Vietnam, Guatemala) to Americans, there have been accusations of child trafficking and the presence of unscrupulous actors who trade on the misfortune of birth families for profit. There have been allegations of coercion of birth mothers to relinquish babies. On the orphanage side, there have been accusations of fraud, in particular, reports that some Americans have been misled about the age of the child they’re adopting

Thursday, March 10, 2011

Child Welfare in the News - March 10, 2011

FL: Relatives fight to adopt Fla. boy found in truckAssociated Press March 9, 2011Isidro and Ana Reyes, who are Victor's biological aunt and uncle, are now seeking custody of the boy. The couple sought to adopt the children after they were placed in foster care in 2004. A judge ultimately ruled that the twins should stay with their then-foster parents, the Barahonas, because they'd already bonded.

FL: Governor's budget slashes child welfareWTSP CBS4 March 9, 2011The governor wants to slash DCF's budget by $179 million. The cuts would eliminate 1,849 positions in the child welfare agency - a 14 percent reduction in its workforce.

FL: Agencies failed to share information about abused Barahona twinsSun Sentinel March 9, 2011There was one thing dozens of social workers, lawyers, family court judges, physicians, psychologists, volunteer guardians and state administrators failed to share: information. And it was abundantly available from school teachers who suspected as far back as 2005 that the twins were abused to the point of torture.

IA: Keep working to fix abusive state registryDes Moines Register March 8, 2011Instead of passing HF 191 out of committee, lawmakers added an amendment to another bill. It requires the Iowa Department of Human Services to work with other agencies and groups to address problems with the registry and report back in December.

MA: Middleborough police say state agency impeded child sex-abuse investigationWareham Courier March 9, 2011Middleborough police say the state Department of Children and Families impeded an investigation that led to the arrest this week of a man accused of sexually abusing three children repeatedly over a nine-year period.

NE: Moratorium proposed on child welfare privatization in three service areasLincoln Journal Star March 8, 2011Members of the Legislature's Health and Human Services Committee said Tuesday they would like to see a moratorium on a return to privatization of child welfare in western, central and northern areas of Nebraska.

OK: Last American Legion Children's Home will remain open, but under a new nameThe Oklahoman March 10, 2011An agreement filed Wednesday in Kay County District Court will allow the Ponca City, Oklahoma, home to change ownership and remain open as the Marland Children's Home.

OK: House passes child protection billKOCO March 9, 2011Under the bill, DHS would have to do a criminal background check on all people in the home the child was placed in.

TN: Oliver Spring couple files $50 million lawsuit over abuse charges, removal of childrenKnoxville News Sentinel March 10, 2011The lawsuit contends the children were uprooted from their home, coerced by children's advocacy groups and state Department of Children's Services employees and others, and placed in inappropriate foster homes.

UT: DCFS budget worries Utah’s social service advocatesThe Salt Lake Tribune March 8, 2011Utah’s social service advocates are doing some last-minute lobbying to eliminate a $5 million cut to the child welfare system that could mean a loss of 50 full-time caseworkers.

ARGENTINA: Where did I come from? Some stolen children don't want to knowNPR March 9, 2011Eight members of the military junta that ran Argentina in the 1970's are now sitting in a courtroom in Buenos Aires. They are accused of trafficking in stolen babies. Those babies are now around 35 years old. Many of them (but as you shall hear, not all) will soon be telling their stories in court.

Wednesday, March 9, 2011

Child Welfare in the News - March 9, 2011

CO: Child abuse, neglect in county impacts youngest mostTrinidad Times Independent March 8, 2011Infants under the age of 1 year old showed the highest rate of maltreatment in Las Animas County, according to recently released child abuse statistics from the Colorado Department of Human Services’ Division of Child Welfare (DCW).

CT: Former KDHE Secretary Rod Bremby to be commissioner for Connecticut Department of Social ServicesLawrence Journal World March 8, 2011Connecticut Gov. Dannel Malloy announced Tuesday that Bremby would be the commissioner for the state's Department of Social Services.

FL: Two top DCF officials resign in wake of girl's deathThe Tampa Tribune March 8, 2011Two high level executives are among a handful of people who have resigned from the Department of Children and Families after the agency came under scrutiny in recent weeks over the death of a 10-year-old foster girl at the hands of her adoptive parents.

IA: Budget cuts strip Cherokee MHI of 28 bedsLe Mars Daily Sentinel March 8, 2011"This is what a reduced level of funding would allow us to do to sustain," said Roger Munns, spokesman for the Department of Human Services (DHS). "This was the impact." Fewer beds -- especially for children and adolescents. . .

IA: US Supreme Court won't hear Indiana adoption caseLouisville Courier-Journal March 8, 2011The U.S. Supreme Court has declined to hear an appeal from a Sellersburg, Ind. couple fighting for custody of the now 3-year-old boy whose biological mother gave the child up for adoption by them when he was born in Ohio.

OH: 'Baby Vanessa' improperly taken from Ohio, biological father arguesDayton Daily News March 8, 2011DAYTON — The process under which 2-year-old Vanessa Doss was placed in a private adoptive home in California came under scrutiny Monday during the first day of the “Baby Vanessa” custody hearing.

OK: DHS Criticized In Children's Deaths In RV Fire
KOCO March 07, 2011
The Department of Human Services was criticized after a report showed that it had five chances to remove three children from an unstable home environment before they died in a Del City fire last Jan. 4.

TX: Fort Worth agency approved to handle adoptions from HondurasFort Worth Star Telegram March 8, 2011The Fort Worth-based Gladney Center for Adoption is one of four U.S. agencies recently approved to process adoptions through Honduras, the ninth country where Gladney does so.


UK: Foster parent ban: 'anti-gay' Christian couple treated right, says PMDaily Telegraph March 8, 2011A Christian couple, Eunice and Owen Johns, banned from becoming foster parents because of their faith-based opposition to homosexuality were treated appropriately by the courts, David Cameron has said.

Tuesday, March 8, 2011

Child Welfare in the News - March 8, 2011

AK: Tribes win adoption court caseFairbanks Daily News-Miner March 7, 2011
The Alaska Supreme Court has ruled that tribes share jurisdiction with the state in most child custody issues, providing the second major victory for tribal sovereignty advocates in the past five months.

CA: California foster-care system: Secrecy that hurts kidsLos Angeles Times March 8, 2011
Assemblyman Mike Feuer (D-Los Angeles), one of the state's most conscientious legislators, has introduced a bill to open the state's dependency courts, where these cases are heard, to the public.,0,654325.column?track=rss

FL: Strategy needed to thwart child-abuse deaths March 8, 2011
Yet the scope of the problem attracts little attention on the part of our national leaders or even the national media. The question should not be "What will it take to end child abuse fatalities in Florida?", but rather, "What will it take to end child abuse fatalities in the United States?"

MN: Minn. bill to bring investors into social services
The Associated Press State & Local Wire March 7, 2011
A plan to revamp Minnesota government by getting investors to fund social service programs is drawing bipartisan support at the Capitol.

NV: State officials rebut Clark County complaints about proposed child welfare cuts
Las Vegas Review-Journal March 7, 2011
Department of Health and Human Services Director Mike Willden and senior policy adviser Dale Erquiaga said Clark County officials embellished the state's role in expected cuts to child welfare, saying state support has remained steady and county funding is falling behind.

NY: Foster care growing more responsive to youths' needs
Laconia Citizen March 6, 2011
Today, she participates in a regional Youth Advisory Board that meets monthly and includes children in foster care placement. The purpose is to get together, discuss situations and exchange ideas for improvement. "These are things that never happened when I was in care," Quigly said.

OH: Lawsuit against Children Services might break new legal ground
Columbus Dispatch March 6, 2011
The civil lawsuit currently before a jury in U.S. District Court is a rare example of a complaint that survived the government-immunity and other legal hurdles that protect child-welfare agencies throughout the nation.

WA: Jury in Olympia awards $600000 in DSHS civil suit March 7, 2011
Olympia — A Thurston County jury has awarded $600000 to a former foster child at the center of an investigation into allegations of ritual sex abuse in Wenatchee in the mid-1990s. The jury on Monday found that the state Department of Social and Health ...

WI: Report finds room for improvement in licensing kinship foster parents
Milwaukee Journal Sentinel March 7, 2011
A new state law has increased licensing, training and payments for kinship foster parents, but the changes have not gone far enough, potentially leaving some children at risk, according to a report released Monday. Report available at:

US: Suffer the Children: Study of Head Trauma Abuse Spurs Questions
MyHealthNewsDaily March 7, 2011
A new study on child abuse — the first to look at the differences in head trauma perpetrated by men and women — may shed some light on this type of abuse, but raises even more questions about how many cases go undetected. The study looked at 48 cases ...

Child Welfare in the News - March 7, 2011

IA: Complaints target Waukee adoption March 7, 2011
The six complaints on file with the attorney general center on cases in which birth parents ultimately rejected adoptions for which the agency had already collected large sums. Prospective adoptive parents have said they were owed refunds or questioned whether the company misrepresented the availability of the children for adoption.

NE: Bill giving adoption information in Neb. passesNECN March 4, 2011
Nebraska lawmakers have passed a bill to give adoptive parents access to state files on the child they're adopting.

NV: Officials warn about plan to cut child welfare services
Las Vegas Review - Journal March 4, 2011
Tom Morton, director of Clark County's Department of Family Services, told the panel that the $7 million cut for foster care and adoption services cost his budget closer to $11 million because of lost federal matching funds. Also: and:

NY: CALLING CPS: When the economy goes down, Child Protective Services calls go up
Lockport Union March 6, 2011
“We’re only 30 reports behind Niagara Falls,” said Burt Marshall, the Niagara County director of Social Services. “It’s not a good sign for people living at this end of the county. The biggest increase was in Lockport.”

NY: Queens Program Helps Transition Incarcerated Moms
NY1 March 6, 2011
"Most of the children that are here at our daycare center were born in prison and spend the first year of their life with their mothers in prison," said "Hour Children" Coordinator Jelena Starcevic. The program helps many mothers, including 17-year-old Isabella Crowell, whose son Cody was born while she was behind bars serving a year-long sentence.

OH: 'Baby Vanessa' custody case resumes today
Dayton Daily News March 6, 2011
Doss, who is single, began adoption proceedings, which were halted by Mills’ petition for custody not long after Vanessa’s birth in Dayton in June 2008. Some legal experts believe the case has strong potential to go before the U.S. Supreme Court because it’s a test case pitting the rights of children against the rights of birth parents. Also:

OR: Bill would remove statute of limitations in Oregon for sex crimes against minors
The Oregonian March 05, 2011
The proposal, contained in House Bill 3057, gets its first public hearing Monday and will likely generate a fight pitting prosecutors against defense attorneys. Some district attorneys say young sexual assault victims need extra protection. Defense lawyers say the change would make it far more difficult for people to make the case that they've been wrongly accused.

OR: Foster Care Conundrum: Do Social Workers Get Too Close To See The Problems
Oregon Public Broadcasting March 4, 2011
Most foster parents provide good, supportive homes for kids. But multiple outside reports identify a system-wide problem. The same people who recruit and retain foster parents also have to report suspected wrongdoing.

PA: Mennonites' informal lifeline for jailed mothers Philadelphia Inquirer March 7, 2011
In the last 12 years, 91 babies born to mothers in Riverside have been fostered in central Pennsylvania through Mennonite Caregivers Program, an informal arrangement in which incarcerated women turn over their children to Mennonite families unsupervised by any government agency. Many mothers without family or friends to care for their infants are grateful for an alternative that avoids the Philadelphia Department of Human Services - an agency that may have intervened with the women's other children or that may hold bad memories for them from their own childhood.

TX: Proposed budget cuts hurt state's most vulnerable populationPlano Star March 6, 2011
Just when adults began to wrap their heads around the proposed Texas budget, the state's children began scratching their heads as some child-specific services could take a big hit to the pocketbook.

InternationalCANADA: Council seeks national campaign to boost adoption rates March 5, 2011
OTTAWA - The Adoption Council of Canada, a non-profit advocacy group, says that of an estimated 78,000 children in care in Canada, about 30,000 are available for adoption. Yet only about 2,300 are adopted each year. So the council wants the federal government to help foot the bill for a national campaign to raise awareness of the large number of children who need permanent families.

ETHIOPIA: Ethiopia to Cut Foreign Adoptions by Up to 90 Percent
Voice of America March 4, 2011
Ethiopia is cutting back by as much as 90 percent the number of inter-country adoptions it will allow, as part of an effort to clean up a system rife with fraud and corruption. Adoption agencies and children’s advocates are concerned the cutbacks will leave many Ethiopian orphans without the last-resort option of an adoptive home abroad.

Thursday, March 3, 2011

Child Welfare in the News – March 3, 2011

AZ: Arizona bill giving married couples priority in adoptions gets preliminary approval
East Valley Tribune March 2, 2011
Married couples would get a leg-up over any single person in adopting a child under the terms of legislation given preliminary Senate approval on Wednesday.

FL: Court keeps lid on some Nubia records
Miami Herald March 2, 2011
At an emergency hearing Wednesday afternoon, Circuit Judge Maria Sampedro-Iglesia ordered that transcripts detailing a teacher and principal’s concerns about the welfare of Nubia Barahona in her foster home be kept out of the public eye.

MN: Opening the books on adoption
Star Tribune March 2, 2011
Once firmly closed, adoption records are getting easier to access, drawn by the need for medical information and, sometimes, the hope of a reunion.

MO: Bill to protect parents with disabilities' child custody rights
Missourian March 2, 2011
Lawmakers discussed a bill Wednesday that will prevent the state Department of Social Services from taking children from homes solely because a parent has a disability. It will also require the courts to prove a disability has a direct negative impact on a child before taking away the parent's custody rights.

OK: Bill requires criminal background checks on parents by DHS
KTUL March 2, 2011
A committee will hear Speaker Kris Steele's House Bill 2136 which requires the Oklahoma Department of Human Services (OKDHS) to conduct criminal background checks on all adults living in a home before a foster child is reunited with a parent.

OR: Foster kids will get new haven
The Portland Tribune March 3, 2011
Bridge Meadows is a soon-to-open North Portland housing development serving families in the process of adopting foster children. The two-acre complex will have a mix of 27 affordable housing apartment units for “elders” – defacto grandparents who’ll help care for the youth – as well as nine homes for the adoptive families.

TX: Editorial: Kinship benefits to relatives better choice than foster care
Dallas Morning News March 2, 2011
The two-year budget now under construction in Austin gives lawmakers uncountable opportunities to demonstrate short-sightedness. They have little choice but to take the knife to most spending areas in state government, but we hope they spare those programs that cost money today but save taxpayers lots more over the long run. One such program provides payments to low-income relatives who care for children whose parents have lost custody.

US: The foster care ghetto and school reform
Dropout Nation March 2, 2011
The abysmal academic performance of kids in foster care all but ensures that most of them will end up in poverty or prison during their adulthood; based on the admittedly sparse data available, the unemployment rate for foster kids who had aged out two years earlier is around 51 percent.

US: Landrieu introduces Foster Care Mentoring Act
KATC March 2, 2011
United States Senator Mary L. Landrieu, D-La., introduced the Foster Care Mentoring Act of 2011 this week, which aims to connect foster youth with caring and supportive mentors. Joining Sen. Landrieu in sponsoring this bill are Sens. Mark Begich, D-Alaska, and Tim Johnson, D-S.D.

US: Reasons other than racism factor into disproportionality in child abuse reporting
Washington University in St. Louis Newsroom March 1, 2011
In a new study published in the journal Pediatrics, F. Brett Drake, PhD, professor at the Brown School at Washington University in St. Louis, finds that much, if not most, of the overrepresentation of black children in maltreatment reporting is due to increased exposure to risk factors such as poverty.

US: Even in sex abuse cases, families have rights
USA Today March 2, 2011
At issue in Camreta v. Greene is the extent to which we are willing to allow state officials, rather than parents, to make decisions affecting the health and well-being of our children. "S.G.," a 9-year-old girl, was taken from her class to be interviewed by a police officer and a caseworker because of vague allegations that her father had sexually abused her.