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Secrecy in child welfare system fails the powerless

on Thu, 03/06/2014 - 11:54
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Secrecy in child welfare system fails the powerless

In the middle of a blinding snowstorm, an Edmonton Journal team drove west recently to visit the parents of a First Nations baby who died in care in 2011.

They were not welcomed.

The grieving parents only consented to see the reporter because she had the one thing the government had been denying them for two years.

She knew how their baby lost its life.

The reporter handed them a confidential four-page report, the room fell silent. The parents huddled together, poring over the scant details.

The system had taken away their daughter at birth, and never explained why.

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Family Defense Center, an organization that advocates for justice for families in the child welfare system

on Thu, 03/06/2014 - 11:46
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Family Defense Center, an organization that advocates for justice for families in the child welfare system

DCFS’s real crime? Breaking up families

The recent news that DCFS investigations are missing the mark isn’t news to me. I have sued DCFS more than a dozen times and have established, through federal court findings, that the state’s child-welfare system has a staggering rate of error in its investigations. But the mistakes my cases have demonstrated are much different from the ones highlighted by recent news stories about child deaths. In fact, they are just the opposite: They show a DCFS too quick on the trigger to pull children from the care of suitable parents.

Without any oversight,

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Tone Deaf Response - Scathing Review of Colorado's Troubled Child Welfare System

on Sun, 05/05/2013 - 09:27
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Tone Deaf Response - Scathing Review of Colorado's Troubled Child Welfare System

Colorado still failing on child welfare

We are disappointed in the tone-deaf response to a scathing review of Colorado's troubled system

Two things become quite clear after reading a withering examination of how the child welfare system failed to protect a 3-year-old killed by his mother and the government's efforts to critique its performance.

First, it's a shame that the author of this review, Colorado's child protection ombudsman, has resigned. During her relatively short tenure, Becky Miller Updike brought candor and an ability to look unflinchingly at this troubled system.

Second, Updike's

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Canada - System fails kids in care

on Mon, 04/15/2013 - 09:45
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Canada - System fails kids in care

Statistical analysis can be a dry subject, but not in the case of the report on how children and youth in B.C. government care are doing — these statistics measure how real people are faring.

Many are not faring well — the report notes that 50 per cent of young people leaving the child-welfare system at age 19 are on income assistance within six months.

The statistical report should not be seen as a means of pointing fingers, but as a tool for determining where improvements are needed.

The government released the report seven years after former judge Ted Hughes reviewed B.C.’s

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To Avoid Broken Adoptions, Avoid Breaking Families

on Mon, 02/18/2013 - 11:05
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To Avoid Broken Adoptions, Avoid Breaking Families

Failed adoption is an unsettling reality that is too often hidden from the public eye. Adoption can be a wonderful thing for the right child at the right time. There are many adoptive parents who are heroic and inspiring. However, since the federal Adoption and Safe Families Act of 1997, adoption has too often been as presented as—if not a panacea—then at least the preferred permanency option, by public child welfare authorities.

The term "permanency" is used inaccurately, sometimes almost cynically.

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40 died in 2011 on state’s watch - Class-action suit against Massachusetts’ child care services department

on Mon, 01/28/2013 - 01:03
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40 died in 2011 on state’s watch - Class-action suit against Massachusetts’ child care services department
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1,800 fewer kids in Pa. foster care as family programs pay off

on Sat, 12/15/2012 - 16:15
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1,800 fewer kids in Pa. foster care as family programs pay off

The number of kids entering foster care in Pennsylvania is declining -- along with an ongoing reduction in the foster care population, according to a new report from Pennsylvania Partnerships for Children, an independent nonprofit. 

The decrease of nearly 2,000 may indicate programs designed to keep kids safely in their own homes are working.

An approach such as General Protective Services, or GPS, allows the child welfare system to help families in need address issues before abuse might occur.

It makes sense, says Dr.

Lukes Dad's picture

Reform efforts of the Colorado child welfare system

on Fri, 11/30/2012 - 01:17
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Reform efforts of the Colorado child welfare system

Expert panels, legislators and three governors have developed more than 100 recommendations on how to improve the child welfare system in Colorado. The following are some of the recommendations made over the past 12 years. Few have been enacted.

Republican Gov. Bill Owens' administration
(1999-2007)

TRAINING

• Entry-level workers in child welfare should be encouraged to have a bachelor's degree in social work or qualify for the position through a competency test administered by the state department.

Result: Caseworkers must have a bachelor's degree, but not necessarily in social work.

TRANSPARENCY

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Letter from the Editor: Investigation into Colorado's child welfare system

on Thu, 11/29/2012 - 21:58
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Letter from the Editor Investigation into Colorado's child welfare system

More kids died of abuse and neglect in Colorado from 2007 to 2011 than in the five years before that, and an increasing number of those youngsters were known to child welfare workers before they were killed.

Roughly once every 30 days a child dies in Colorado after his or her risk for harm has been brought to the attention of county child welfare authorities.

Many of those deaths could have been prevented.

For these next eight days, you'll be given a troubling report about what has been happening and why, as well as what can be done to stop this senseless loss of young life.

For the better part

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Desperate parents surrender autistic children to state custody

on Mon, 10/22/2012 - 00:48
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Desperate parents surrender autistic children to state custody

Families who can’t afford mental health care, behavioral therapy, other services for their autistic kids are giving them up to the state.

 
First Published Sep 29 2012 06:17 pm • Last Updated Oct 01 2012 12:16 pm

In the weeks before Garrett Lines was hospitalized, he insisted on symmetry and separation. If he said "goodbye" and someone responded "see you later" instead of echoing him, he screamed. If he stepped on someone’s shadow, he ran backward to escape.

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