Child Welfare in the News
Indian Child Welfare Act likely headed to Supreme Court: Fate of Native Children May Hinge on U.S. Adoption Case
Stateline, March 12, 2019
A case before a federal appeals court could upend an historic adoption law meant to combat centuries of brutal discrimination against American Indians and keep their children with families and tribal communities.
CNN, March 18, 2019
There has been an increase of more than 800% in female inmates over nearly 40 years. That is more than double the pace of growth among men. When those women are mothers, the fallout can be far-reaching because women tend to be the primary caregivers for their children.
Stateline, March 29, 2019
People of color are disproportionately represented among the homeless, with blacks and Native Americans experiencing the highest rates among those groups. Poverty alone doesn’t account for the stark inequities, researchers say, because the number of black and Native people who are homeless exceeds their proportion of people living in deep poverty.
California Healthline, March 4, 2019
Dr. Nadine Burke Harris, California's newly appointed surgeon general, will tell you this is not a hypothetical scenario. She is a leading voice in a movement trying to transform our understanding of how the traumatic experiences that affect so many American children can trigger serious physical and mental illness.
Chronicle of Social Change, March 8, 2019
Child Trends has released a new tool that offers browsers a robust collection of data around child maltreatment, foster care, kinship caregivers and adoption for all 50 states, Puerto Rico and Washington, D.C. The figures are drawn from the most recent Adoption and Foster Care Analysis and Reporting System (AFCARS) report, the U.S. Census Bureau and other sources. All the information is pegged to national trendlines for comparison purposes.
NPR, March 14, 2019
A new study published in the Journal of Abnormal Psychology shows that a rise in depression and stress among young people parallels the growth in smartphone and social media use.
The Hill, February 2, 2019
The Children's Bureau (CB) at the Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) recently issued an important policy reversal, allowing federal dollars to flow to states to help pay for legal representation of children in child welfare cases. Federal law has always allowed for this, but previous policy explicitly prohibited drawing down money for it.
Chronicle of Social Change, Feb 11, 2019
As the homeless youth population declines nationwide, California remains the state with the highest population of people experiencing homelessness overall and the highest number of unaccompanied homeless youth, according to the 2018 Annual Homeless Assessment from the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development.
Fresno Bee, February 22, 2019
The number of illegally abandoned baby cases has dropped and slowed over time. The last three years on record show that out of just nine abandoned babies, all survived.
The Los Angeles Times, Jan 2, 2019
Newsom has proposed $1.5 billion as a one-time expense in the budget year that begins July 1. Those dollars would be a single infusion of cash. Most of the money would be spent on efforts to expand child-care services and kindergarten classes.
The San Diego Union-Tribune, Jan 15, 2019
In an effort to help solve the scarcity of student housing near San Diego State University, the City Council on Monday unanimously approved the first “hybrid dormitory” for the campus. The 128-room apartment complex will be privately owned and is not affiliated with the university, but supported by the city.
CBS News, January 29, 2019
The findings, from economic advocacy group Prosperity Now, highlight the financial insecurity facing many U.S. households, as was seen during the recent government shutdown. Thousands of furloughed government workers, who missed two paychecks, struggled to cover basics like housing and food.
Pewtrusts.org, December 5, 2018
A shortage of affordable housing in many places is exacerbating problems caused by increased numbers of children entering foster care and a shortage of the number of foster parents available to take them in. But some foster care advocates hope new federal guidelines will make it easier for many foster care parents to get licensed, giving a boost to recruiting efforts, particularly among extended family members.
The Patch, December 17, 2018
An Atlanta-based faith organization dedicated to eradicating child sex trafficking is using technology to help victims of the crime receive help and even prevent them from entering what could be a lifetime of degradation and tragedy.
New York Times Editorial Board, December 28, 2018
News organizations shoulder much of the blame for the moral panic that cast mothers with crack addictions as irretrievably depraved and the worst enemies of their children. The New York Times, The Washington Post, Time, Newsweek and others further demonized black women “addicts” by wrongly reporting that they were giving birth to a generation of neurologically damaged children who were less than fully human and who would bankrupt the schools and social service agencies once they came of age.
Administration for Children and Families, November 18, 2018
AFCARS found 442,995 youth living in foster care in 2017, an increase of about 6,500 from the 2016 total. Even though entries into care declined slightly in 2017, fewer youth exited care. Of the 15 categories states can report for the circumstances associated with a child’s removal from home and placement into care, drug abuse by a parent had the largest percentage point increase.
The Washington Post, November 20, 2018
After absorbing the shock of a child’s arrest, families often must navigate a perilous system of fines and fees, all while making critical decisions about their child’s case. And if a juvenile defendant’s family can’t afford the fees, they may pay a far steeper price: loss of freedom until the debt is settled.
California Health Report, November 28, 2018
According to a new report by the Annie E. Casey Foundation, which draws together state and national data on foster youth transitioning to adulthood, California’s transition age youth fare slightly better than the national average when it comes to finding a job and graduating from high school. But data shows that many foster youth aren’t receiving the support they need to create stable lives once they leave foster care, and are less likely to receive a high school diploma or GED than their peers who haven’t been in foster care.
Los Angeles Times, September 18, 2018
Researchers argue that if California wants to improve student achievement in schools, it has to start much earlier so that children are prepared when they show up for kindergarten.
Chronicle of Social Change, October 1, 2018
Brown endorsed a bill that will prevent the transfer of 14- and 15-year-olds into adult criminal court; provide internet access for youth in foster care and the juvenile justice system; bar children ages 11 and younger from the jurisdiction of the juvenile court; and limit the amount of time youth who are deemed mentally incompetent can spend in juvenile halls, among other legislation.
The Washington Post, October 10, 2018
The landmark law governing adoptions of Native American children, designed to keep them within Native American families, has been struck down as unconstitutional by a federal judge in Texas.
Chronicle of Social Change, September 4, 2018
Lynn Johnson was confirmed to lead the Administration for Children and Families (ACF) just before the Labor Day weekend. Johnson was the executive director of the Jefferson County Department of Human Services.
The Philadelphia Tribune, September 9, 2018
The Philadephia Tribune pulls back the lens on the circumstances beyond individual control, such as hunger and racism, that limit educational and economic mobility.
Voice of San Diego, September 13, 2018
In the past decade, the number of children behind bars decreased so dramatically that in San Diego County – and across the state – juvenile halls and camps stand at unprecedented levels of emptiness.
Philanthropy News Digest, August 27. 2018
This report found that forty states have laws that permit or even require courts to charge for public defenders. The fees push families — who can be held in contempt of court, receive a civil judgment, or receive liens against their properties if they can't pay — into debt, forces youth deeper into the justice system, and jeopardizes the constitutionality of juvenile court proceedings.
The Washington Post, September 1, 2018
Kids suffer trauma from the circumstances that led to foster care in the first place, but they also experience the grief of being separated from their primary attachment.
Science Magazine, August 28, 2018
A parental training program for families referred to Child Protective Services improved toddlers' unconscious reactions to mildly stressful situations, as well as improving parents' behavior, according to a new study by researchers at the University of California, Davis and the University of Washington.
Cory Turner, NPREd, July 18, 2018
Rates of anxiety and depression among teens in the U.S. have been rising for years. According to one study, nearly one in three adolescents (ages 13-18) now meets the criteria for an anxiety disorder.
San Diego Union-Tribune, August 3, 2018
A first-of-its-kind emergency program to support female survivors of human trafficking opened in Orange County this summer, offering shelter beds as well as specially tailored healthcare, case management and education assistance services.
Joshua A. Krisch, Daily Magazine, August 14, 2018
Experts agree that preschoolers are entirely capable of suffering from clinical depression. And that this depression is not always the result of abuse or neglect. Depression in small children works in much the same way as it does in teenagers and adults, studies suggest.
Vanita Gupta and P. McCarthy (Opinion), USA Today, June 26, 2018
The U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD) has announced that it will give $43 million towards youth projects to 11 communities around the country.
John Fensterwald, Ed Source, July 18, 2018
Federal spending on children will drop about a quarter within a decade, as appropriations for the elderly and rising interest payments on a soaring national debt will squeeze spending on America’s youth, the Urban Institute projected in a report issued Tuesday.
Kriston Capps, City Lab, July 18, 2018
A report last week from the White House Council of Economic Advisors declared the War on Poverty “largely over and a success.” The report diverged sharply from what even other Republicans say about poverty, to say nothing of economists.
Nick Cumming-Bruce, New York Times, June 5, 2018
The Trump administration's practice of separating children from migrant families entering the United States violates their rights and international law, the United Nations human rights office said on Tuesday, urging an immediate halt to the practice.
Caitlin Yoshiko Kandil, California Health Report, June 6, 2018
Economics are the primary driver of homelessness, according to a 2017 report by researchers at UC Irvine, with forty percent of those surveyed cited difficulty finding a job with sufficient wages, and 36 percent cited an inability to find affordable housing.
Vanita Gupta and P. McCarthy (Opinion), USA Today, June 26, 2018
In 2010, the Census reflected a net undercount of about 1 million young children, and the conditions are in place for it to happen again.
Rachel Anspach, Teen Vogue, May 25, 2018
Advocates calling for solutions to the “foster care-to-prison pipeline” point to the fact that one quarter of foster care alumni will become involved with the criminal justice system within two years of leaving care. Without family or local support foster youth lack figures who would advocate on their behalf, a problem exacerbated by lack of mental health care and racially disproportionate treatment by the criminal justice system.
Sarah Jane Tribble, San Jose Mercury News, May 29, 2018
The more than 21,000 families who are homeless in California often have nowhere to go if they want to stay together. While some shelters across the state have developed family-friendly models, these accommodations are still in short supply.
Kateri Wozny, U.S. News, June 8, 2018
As of May, officials said Los Angeles County had 2,526 youth in extended foster care, with 647 who were placed with relatives. The county family services agency also says about 60 percent of EFC youth are Hispanic, while about 30 percent are African-American.
Ellen Wulfhorst, Reuters, May 3, 2018
Often removed from abusive or negligent families, girls and boys in foster care are at high risk, said Dorchen Leidholdt, legal center director at Sanctuary for Families, which advocates for domestic violence and sex trafficking survivors.
Sarah Jane Tribble, May 10, 2018
The University of North Carolina Horizons Program is a residential substance use disorder treatment center where mothers can bring their children. The kids attend school or day care while mothers take classes and go to therapy sessions.
Bill Whitaker, CBS News, May 13, 2018
More than one million American children now live with grandparents, primarily because of their parent's addiction to opioids and other drugs: heroin, crack, meth and alcohol. Grandparents are putting off retirement and plowing through savings to rescue their grandchildren from dangerous situations.
John Kelly, Chronicle of Social Change, April 18, 2018
The Government Accountability Office (GAO) released a report this month on school discipline with a topline finding that "black students, boys and students with disabilities were disproportionately disciplined (e.g., suspensions and expulsions) in K-12 public schools."
Tiffany Manuel & Nat Kendall-Taylor, SSIR, April 30, 2018
Today, millions of families across the country still struggle to afford a home that is safe, healthy, and connected to the resources they need: good schools, jobs that pay living wages, safe and reliable transportation, and high-quality health care
Simone Weichselbaum, The Marshall Project, May 1, 2018
In Newark, N.J., police have embarked on an experiment that they hope will calm tensions by immersing both cops and residents in uncomfortable truths about slavery and Jim Crow, coupled with lessons on epigenetics and trauma.
Karen de Sá, Cynthia Dizikes and Joaquin Palomino, San Francisco Chronicle April 5, 2018
A California lawmaker is calling for $22.7 million in state funding to help prevent unwarranted arrests of abused and neglected children in the state’s residential foster-care facilities.
Molly McCluskey, Pacific Standard, April 5, 2018
After settling a lawsuit for conscience-shocking behavior, a youth detention facility in Sacramento is setting the course to end punitive solitary confinement nationwide.
Mark Rank, New York Times Opinion, April 15, 2018
The United States has the weakest safety net among the Western industrialized nations, devoting far fewer resources as a percentage of gross domestic product to welfare programs than do other wealthy countries.
Catherine Gewertz, Education Week, March 25, 2018
Hundreds of thousands of students, teachers, and parents packed streets near the White House and the U.S. Capitol and marched in cities around the globe on Saturday to demand more-restrictive gun laws and decry gun violence, the latest in a series of massive demonstrations sparked by the Parkland, Fla., school shooting that killed 17 people last month.
Robert Salonga, Mercury News, March 29, 2018
Around-the-clock hotline to report suspected child abuse and neglect created in advance of National Child Abuse Prevention Month.
John Woolfolk, Mercury News, April 1, 2018
After years of efforts to crack down on the rampant use of psychiatric drugs in California’s foster care system, the number of youth prescribed the potent medications is plummeting — a major turnaround in how the state cares for some of its most vulnerable children.