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In 1998, 589 children died nationwide, while living in foster care. (Adoption and Foster Care Analysis and Reporting System (AFCARS) FY 2006)

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Family Rights and Child Abuse News

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While state legislators debate the finer points of a bill intended to overhaul Children's Protective Services, Fort Bend County officials agree: something needs to be done.

A bill proposed by Sen. Jane Nelson, R-Lewisville, calls for a increase in the number of CPS caseworkers throughout the state.

Questions remain as to how the state could fund the new workers, and legislators of both parties are debating a proposal to privatize some aspects of the foster care system. The measure, Senate Bill 6, passed in the Senate and will be up for a house vote. SB 6 was declared emergency legislation by Gov. Rick Perry and can become law within 60 days of its passage.

Rosenberg Herald Coaster (TX)

March 12, 2005

by Jessie Seyfer

If a little more sunlight shone on the traditionally closed juvenile court, some say, the public could see how well the system works.

But sunshine also could expose abused and neglected children -- whom the juvenile justice system was designed to protect -- to even more trauma. So go the main opinions around the question, to be debated today in Redwood City, of whether juvenile dependency hearings should be open to the public.

The Mercury News - [free subscription required]

March 3, 2005

by Federal

A bill to expand Parents as Teachers programs and other quality programs of early childhood home visitation, and for other purposes.

To enable States to deliver services under Parents as Teachers programs, or other quality programs of early childhood home visitation, to pregnant women and parents of children from birth until entry into kindergarten in order to promote parents' ability to support their children's optimal cognitive, language, social-emotional, and physical development.

March 3, 2005

by Emily Fancher and Amy Yarbrough

Alegal clash that could force open juvenile court proceedings is about to take place in San Mateo County - where a judge will decide whether secrecy or openness is the best way to protect abused children.

If open court advocates win, this county will become the state's first to routinely allow public access to juvenile dependency hearings, and a trend toward openness could move through the state's courtrooms. But a fierce opposition to openness has arisen, promising to show that openness is the worst thing that could happen to abused children. If Diaz rules against them, they threaten to plug higher courts with appeals.

San Mateo County Times

February 26, 2005

by Michelle Malkin

Kofi Annan must have the world's thickest set of industrial-quality earplugs. How else can he block out the cries of Congolese girls raped by United Nations "peacekeepers" sent to protect the innocents from harm'

Fifty U.N. peacekeepers and U.N. civilian officers face an estimated 150 allegations of sexual exploitation and rape in the Congo alone. Last Friday, ABC's "20/20" program aired a devastating expose by investigative reporter Brian Ross highlighting some of the worst alleged crimes.


February 16, 2005

Sargent Shriver National Center on Poverty Law

No. 97 C 4199 (N.D. Ill. Feb. 3, 2005); Clearinghouse Number: 51679 Seventh Circuit Rules that Child Care Workers Have Liberty Interest in Employment, Upholds Credible Evidence Standard for "Indicated" Child Abuse Reports.

February 3, 2005

by Sarah Wright

Many services provided by the Santa Cruz County Judicial system are aimed to protect minors and help keep troubled families together.

Kimberly Corsaro, judge pro tem, said open petitions can include more than one child and they remain open until the last child in the family turns 18. She said there are 39 children in this system. Of those, four are with their families and the rest are in foster care.

Nogales International (AZ)

February 3, 2005

by Joel Rutchick

While Latisha Smith waited for a critical child-custody hearing to begin in Juvenile Court last spring, a woman she didn't know approached her with some advice.

Donna Butler, the county social worker who had taken Smith's children away, was someone to be wary of, the woman told her: Butler was known for mistreating people and beating them down. Had the warning come from a lawyer with an ax to grind, or from another mother trying to regain custody of her children, it might have been easier to ignore.

The Cleveland Plain Dealer (OH)

January 16, 2005

On January 1, case managers with the Indiana Child Protective Services started screening children at risk for addiction or mental health problems, Tri-State Media reported on January 5.

The Indiana Family and Social Services Administration expanded a nine-county pilot project to all 92 counties. Case managers were trained to recognize behavioral health and addiction risk factors in youth and are partnered with local agencies to coordinate assessment and treatment. They will screen children who are in foster care or identified as children in need of services.

January 14, 2005

by Caitlin Cleary

When Darlene Jones was growing up in Pittsburgh, she was told that her mother gave her away when she was a baby to Mose and Marilee Minifield, the couple who raised her along with their three other foster and adopted children.

Jones wouldn't know her birth mother's version of events for many years -- that she had not been given away, but had been spirited off as a baby and taken to Pittsburgh. But over the years, suspicions took root. Once or twice, she spied a different name on her birth certificate and on a driver's license learner's permit, before Marilee Minifield whisked them out of sight. The Minifields would ask her not to write their Pittsburgh return address on Christmas cards to an aunt and uncle in Arkansas, saying they didn't want anybody to find them.

Pittsburgh Post-Gazette

January 9, 2005


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