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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

Lukes Dad's picture

Deaths of children in child welfare system up: report

on Tue, 01/15/2013 - 15:53
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Deaths of children in child welfare system up: report

The number of children who died while they were involved in Manitoba's child welfare system went up last year, according to a new report by the province's Children's Advocate.

The latest annual report from Darlene MacDonald, released on Tuesday, says her office investigated the deaths in 2011-12 of 61 children who were involved in the child and family services (CFS) system.

It's up from 53 deaths that were reviewed in the previous year.

MacDonald told CBC News the higher number of deaths that were reviewed in the past year was to be expected, as the number of children who were involved in the

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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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Birth Parents with Trauma Histories in the Child Welfare System - A Guide for Parents

on Mon, 08/13/2012 - 09:57

You may be one of the many parents involved with the Child Welfare System who has experienced or
witnessed dangerous, even life-threatening, events known as trauma. If so, this resource is for you.
It includes facts about trauma that you may find helpful and one parent’s story.


KAREN’S STORY
Karen feels completely overwhelmed. She has been trying so hard to hold everything together, but
no matter how much effort she puts in, she can’t seem to do anything right. She has been through
a lot. She remembers watching her father beat up her mother and being put in foster care. She
didn’t think anything

Lukes Dad's picture

Both sides of child welfare debate

on Mon, 08/13/2012 - 06:09
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LINCOLN — Tears flowed and tales of trouble abounded at a hearing Thursday about whether to pull back on Nebraska's experiment in privatizing child welfare.

On one side were people such as Jenae Vanevery, a Lincoln foster parent who relayed her experience with KVC, one of the state's private contractors.

In September, she said, she got a call to pick up two new foster children.

The girls, ages 3 and 2, had been in KVC's care since being removed from their home 10 hours earlier.

But Vanevery found them still covered in their own waste, wearing clothing stiff from dried urine.

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Child welfare system must be improved

on Wed, 07/18/2012 - 11:48
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Child welfare system must be improved

The state of our state’s child welfare system is an important issue for many reasons. Anytime you are dealing with a situation where a child is removed from their family and home, it is a difficult situation. As a result, the child welfare system will not be a perfect system; however we are looking for ways to improve the lives of these children every day.

There is an overriding issue that is of particular concern.

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Hickenlooper Announces Colorado Child-Welfare System Overhaul

on Thu, 04/19/2012 - 12:18
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Hickenlooper Announces Colorado Child-Welfare System Overhaul

On Thursday, Gov. John Hickenlooper announced several changes to improve Colorado's child welfare system after the tragic deaths of 43 children that were involved in the system during the last five years.

Fox31 reports that a state review showed that some caseworkers did not follow policy in the cases surrounding the 43 children that died. So, in an effort to improve the system, Hickenlooper, along with the executive director of the Dept. of Human Services, Reggie Bicha, are looking for increased transparency as well as to hold caseworkers and county officials more accountable.

In a

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Lawmakers urged to look to the future, not dwell on child welfare failures

on Wed, 02/29/2012 - 14:39

State lawmakers have settled in for two days of debate on child welfare issues, considered by many to be the top issue this legislative session.

The debate has been long anticipated; something inferred by Sen. Kathy Campbell, chairwoman of the legislative Health and Human Resources Committee as she opened debate by laying out the work ahead.

“And so it begins,” Campbell told colleagues during floor debate. “Today, we begin the process of building a stable foundation and a bridge to the future for the benefit of children and families of the state of Nebraska.”

Campbell brought to the floor