FOR CURRENT CASA VOLUNTEERS: Here is current information relevant to your role as a CASA volunteer. Read any of these articles and submit an in-service form to your Advocate Coordinator to receive in-service credit.

Child Welfare in the News ...

KS: Opinion: Protect our most vulnerable children

Lawrence Journal-World - December 02, 2017

Governor-in-waiting Jeff Colyer and Gina Meier-Hummel, his selection to head the Kansas Department for Children and Families, have an immediate opportunity to address glaring shortcomings in protecting the state's most vulnerable children and in doing so distinguish themselves from the discredited administration of Gov. Sam Brownback.

http://www2.ljworld.com/news/2017/dec/02/opinion-protect-our-most-vulnerable-children/

 

KS: New DCF Secretary Signals Change Of Direction, Child Welfare Advocates Say

KMUW - December 01, 2017

The well-being of children in her care is Gina Meier-Hummel's highest priority. That is the consensus on the new secretary for the Kansas Department for Children and Families among people who have worked with her. And it's why stakeholders in the state's child welfare system are hopeful that her appointment by Lt. Gov. Jeff Colyer signals a change of direction for the embattled agency.

Also: A difficult process of reform at DCF: http://www.hutchnews.com/news/20171202/difficult-process-of-reform-at-dcf?rssfeed=true

http://kmuw.org/post/new-dcf-secretary-signals-change-direction-child-welfare-advocates-say

 

US: 5 Tips to ensure your unaccompanied minor is safe

Viva Fifty - December 04, 2017

So, with travel season coming up and for parents that, like me, have to send their children as unaccompanied minors on flights, here are a few tips to protect your child or grandchild when you can´t fly with them.

https://www.vivafifty.com/protect-unaccompanied-minors-7604/

 

US: Relative Growth: Three States Increasingly Rely on Kin for Kids in Foster Care

Chronicle of Social Change - December 04, 2017

Murdock's story has become a more common scenario in the past decade as the philosophy that relatives are the preferred placement for foster youth was embedded in federal policy.

https://chronicleofsocialchange.org/child-welfare-2/28865/28865

 

US: Montana kids counting on Congress to reauthorize CHIP (Commentary)

Missoulian - December 03, 2017

While members of Congress are preoccupied with tax reform, millions of American children, including thousands of kids in Montana, are at urgent risk of losing their health care coverage due to congressional inaction. Congress will be in session for only two more weeks this month before recessing for the rest of the year. They must not fail to renew funding for the federal Children's Health Insurance Program before they leave Washington, D.C.

http://missoulian.com/opinion/editorial/montana-kids-counting-on-congress-to-reauthorize-chip/article_db96401f-edfc-5333-99fe-6979d64a57cf.html

 

US: Lawyers Working Pro-Bono to Help Children Obtain Legal Status (Video)

WCVB - December 02, 2017

Thousands of unaccompanied children are apprehended at the U.S. border each year, trying to enter illegally. Those who appear in immigration court are not provided legal representation by the United States. Yet, many of these children are eligible for protection and legal status under U.S. law. But without legal expertise to navigate the system, immigration advocates say 9 out of 10 children are deported.

http://www.wcvb.com/article/lawyers-working-pro-bono-to-help-children-obtain-legal-status/14000948

 

US: Gig Economy Gives Child Support Scofflaws a Place to Hide

Pew Charitable Trust: Stateline - December 01, 2017

The rise of the gig economy and a broad shift to contract work is making it easier for people to evade paying child support, causing headaches for parents and for state officials charged with tracking down the money. About 70 percent of child support payments are collected by withholding income from paychecks. It's possible to capture the wages of an Uber driver, Airbnb renter or a contractor - but only if state officials know that a person owing child support is earning wages that can be garnished, and only if the employer cooperates.

http://www.pewtrusts.org/en/research-and-analysis/blogs/stateline/2017/12/01/gig-economy-gives-child-support-scofflaws-a-place-to-hide

 

US: Tax Plan's Deficits Could Prompt Elimination of Major Child Welfare Programs (Commentary)

Chronicle of Social Change - December 01, 2017

If Congress doesn't figure out how to pay for that gap, it will be within the power of the Trump administration to do so under the current federal spending rules. If that happens, several key programs to prevent child abuse and neglect, and to keep families together after maltreatment has occurred, will take a major hit or could be completely defunded.

https://chronicleofsocialchange.org/child-welfare-2/child-welfare-family-services-face-cuts-pay-tax-plan-deficits/28882

 

US: Number Of American Children In Foster Care Increases For 4th Consecutive Year

National Public Radio - November 30, 2017

A new government report says the number of children in the U.S. foster care system has increased for the fourth year in a row, due largely to an uptick in substance abuse by parents. The report, issued annually by the Administration for Children and Families of the Department of Health and Human Services, shows that 437,500 children were in foster care by the end of fiscal year 2016. A year earlier the number was 427,400.

Report: Number of children in foster care continues to increase: https://www.acf.hhs.gov/media/press/2017/number-of-children-in-foster-care-continues-to-increase

https://www.northcountrypublicradio.org/news/npr/567615510/number-of-american-children-in-foster-care-increases-for-4th-consecutive-year

 

US: Every Child Deserves a Family Campaign Launched to Promote Best Interests of All Children in Foster and Adoption Systems (Press release)

Family Equality Council - December 04, 2017

The Every Child Deserves a Family Campaign brings together a broad coalition of organizations from across the political spectrum, including child welfare organizations, child welfare professionals, advocacy and civil rights organizations, and current and former foster youth with lived experience in the child welfare system. Campaign members are united in the belief that no otherwise qualified foster or adoptive parent should be turned away due to their marital status, religious beliefs, sexual orientation, or gender identity.

https://www.benzinga.com/pressreleases/17/12/p10865596/every-child-deserves-a-family-campaign-launched-to-promote-best-intere

 

US: COMMENTARY: We must start believing victims of child abuse

Observer-Reporter - December 03, 2017

"Who did you tell?" "What did they do after you told them?" These are questions I ask almost every child that I interview. The answers are important; they tell me not just who the child trusts, but also about that child's history, including what their life as a survivor of childhood sex abuse has been like. I am a child abuse pediatrician, specializing in the care of children with concerns for neglect, physical abuse, and sexual abuse. The majority of my work is in sexual abuse, and I am often called to court to explain not only physical exam findings, but the process of disclosure. Most commonly, I explain why children wait to tell.

https://observer-reporter.com/opinion/op-eds/commentary-we-must-start-believing-victims-of-child-abuse/article_1c62f3ac-d540-11e7-8882-27e8a58bf996.html