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A Dozen Adoption/Foster-Care/Child-Welfare Things That Caught My Eye

Earlier this week, I talked with Lynn Johnson, who ran the Administration for Children and Families at HHS in the last administration, and Naomi Schaefer Riley from the American Enterprise Institute:

1. Naomi Schaefer Riley: We Are Not Safer At Home

At the beginning of the pandemic, Florida entered a brief lockdown phase in the same way that New York did. As a result, both states saw a severe decline in the number of cases reported to state child-abuse hotlines.

In Florida, reports dropped 40 percent from April 2019 to April 2020, but by July they had begun to climb again. Schools were open in Florida by the end of the school year, and child-welfare calls to the hotline jumped from 18,909 in April to 22,468 in July. In the autumn, certain areas of the state saw a jump of as much as 58 percent in reports of abuse. Florida’s schools have been running almost completely in-person, meaning that teachers were once again able to see and report severe cases of abuse and neglect.

2. CNN: More child migrants are arriving alone in Spain’s holiday islands than ever before. This is what happens to them

On the Canary Islands, though, some families are taking part in a scheme run by the local government and SUMAS, a non-profit organization, by offering temporary foster care for migrant children like Abou.

He now lives on the island of Tenerife with a couple, Victor Afonso Feliciano, 50, and Adelaida Delgado Alonso, 52, the owners of an organic supermarket, who have no children of their own. Abou is the first child the couple have taken in.

. . .

Delgado Alonso said: “They have come because of need. No one gets on a boat at 11 years old, like Abou has, because they are OK. They have taken the risk at sea because they don’t have a future. Abou was lucky he arrived on land because the vast majority don’t make it.”

3. Seow Hon Tan: How Surrogacy Arrangements Fail Children

The essence of surrogacy agreements is to separate the children from their gestational mothers. By design, a child born to a surrogate mother is severed from the woman who bore him, whose own genetic makeup, environment, and behavioral choices influenced the expression of the child’s genes before birth.

4. Church Life Today: The Church’s Call to Foster Care with Holly Taylor Coolman

5. The City: New York’s Homeless, Foster and Jailed Teens Now Eligible for COVID Vaccine

While questions about consent still linger, an Administration for Children’s Services spokesperson called the move “a game-changer.”

“Just as we did for frontline staff, we have been advocating for eligibility to be expanded to youth in our congregate facilities, and we’re pleased that the state has heeded this request,” said the spokesperson, Marisa Kaufman

6. Public News Service: Ohio’s Older Foster Youth Await COVID Relief Measures

Former foster youth Raven Grice said that while her dorm housing at Cleveland State University is covered by a scholarship, housing stability still is a concern.

“That portion of time — of ‘I don’t know where I’m going to go’ — it’s frightening,” she said, “and I know that I’m not the only person who has to deal with this. There’s thousands of youths across the entire state who have to deal with this because of the pandemic.”

7. Vox: Biden’s controversial decision to reopen temporary shelters for migrant children, explained

The Biden administration has maintained that it has no choice but to reopen the facilities in light of capacity restrictions during the pandemic and more children arriving on the border, but that the welfare of the children remains a primary concern.

“What we are doing is working as quickly as possible to process these kids into these HHS facilities … so we can then transfer them to families,” White House press secretary Jen Psaki said Wednesday. “This is a difficult situation. It’s a difficult choice.”

8. Nadine Marsh Carter, Cassie Cunningham: Foster children need our help

Becoming an adult isn’t a magical overnight event. It’s a process, a transition period that requires a lot of support. What would you have done if you turned 18 and didn’t have a family to help you navigate that transition period?

Studies show that youth who age out of foster care without a family are more likely to become homeless or incarcerated, and less likely to graduate high school and college, and obtain and maintain employment.

9. Sarah Parshall Perry: Women, Children, and Religious Americans Are New Targets Under the Resurrected Equality Act

Americans don’t want their rights of conscience and free exercise eviscerated. But under the Act, Christian bakers would no longer be able to abstain from producing messaging and materials contrary with the Bible’s view of marriage, which the Act refers to as a “sex stereotype.” Catholic foster agencies could not choose only married, heterosexual parents as foster parents in line with Catholic teaching. The Equality Act decimates the Religious Freedom Restoration Act (RFRA)’s effect in operation of any of the above laws, with the text explicitly specifying: “The Religious Freedom Restoration Act of 1993 (42 U.S.C. 2000bb et seq.) shall not provide a claim concerning, or a defense to a claim under, a covered title, or provide a basis for challenging the application or enforcement of a covered title.” With no conscience protections whatsoever, the Equality Act would have dictated opposite outcomes for both the Little Sisters of the Poor and Hobby Lobby at the Supreme Court when they sought relief from the burdensome contraception mandates of Obamacare.

10. The Mercury News: Santa Clara County is model for plan to give $1,000 a month to California foster youth

Borrowing from a Santa Clara County program he proposed, state Sen. Dave Cortese has introduced legislation to provide $1,000 monthly cash payments for California’s foster care youth as they leave the child welfare system.

. . .

“There’s a hole in our social safety net relative to transitioning foster youth, and I believe it’s one of many,” said Cortese, who added that basic income programs like this one could prove a “lifeline” for California’s most vulnerable populations.

11. Many stepping up to help man with severe autism, aging out of foster care system

If the situation is not figured out, Leo will be released Sunday

12. Another “love bomb” drops on an area foster mom

This time, the “Love Bomb a Foster Mom” project honored Katrina Troutman, a nurse at Worthington Healthcare Center. She was given a bag of gifts and a handful of balloons as a part of the “love bombing.”

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