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Fifteen Foster-Care/Adoption/Child-Welfare Things That Caught My Eye Today

Adoptive mother Theresa Alden talks with her sons Gavin (center), 6, and Graem, 4, at their residence in Lancaster , Pennsylvania, June 10, 2008. (Tim Shaffer/Reuters)

1. Naomi Schaefer Riley: Test No Evil

No evidence exists that racial bias is informing decisions about whom to test, but some evidence is suggestive about the kinds of parents that medical professionals report to child-welfare authorities after a positive test. As reported in a 2016 Pediatrics study of California births, “After adjusting for sociodemographic and pregnancy factors, we found that substance-exposed black and Hispanic infants were reported at significantly lower or statistically comparable rates to substance-exposed white infants.” Perhaps hospitals tested only the severest cases of substance abuse in white children. Substance exposure in black or Hispanic infants might also raise fewer alarms, and in that case, perhaps we should worry about racial bias—not in the “targeting” way that Sangoi suggests, but in fact the opposite sense. Do we simply assume that substance abuse is normal in these families? Or do we have a lower standard for the safety of nonwhite infants than for white ones?

2. Yaakov Menken: In 2021, Watch What The Supreme Court Does With Philadelphia’s Ban On Christians Parenting Foster Children

The attorney for the city, Neal Katyal, claimed during oral arguments that a religious foster care agency, by following the prescriptions of the religion which it represents, would “stigmatize” LGBTQ individuals, especially children. Having asserted that traditional religious beliefs are bigoted and damaging, he thus argues that they must be prohibited in practice.

. . .

What is most troubling in all of this is that the city has lost sight of the ultimate goal: to serve children in need of foster care. There is a grave shortage of families willing to open their homes to foster children, and religious agencies, by working specifically within their faith communities, can expand that pool.

3. BBC News: Covid school closures ‘put children’s lives on hold’, says Ofsted chief

Ofsted chief inspector Amanda Spielman spoke out as ministers face growing pressure to keep all schools in England closed after the Christmas holidays.

. . .

Writing in the Sunday Telegraph, Ms Spielman said she welcomed the “real consensus that schools should be the last places to close and the first to reopen”.

“It is increasingly clear that children’s lives can’t just be put on hold while we wait for vaccination programmes to take effect, and for waves of infection to subside,” she said.

She added that long periods of remote learning had led younger children to regress in basic skills, with some forgetting how to hold a pencil or use a knife and fork.

4. New York Post: NYC DOE school ordered abuse probe, issued report cards for boy who wasn’t a student there

“On Nov. 5, I got a knock on my door at 5 p.m. from an ACS worker stating that my son has not been attending Cobble Hill High School,” John’s mom, Margaret Tomasi, told The Post. “It was very traumatizing and shocking.”

. . .

The ACS investigator asked John’s parents if they used drugs, were ever arrested, been on welfare, or had a history of domestic violence. The worker asked many personal questions, including what religion they practiced, and looked inside their kitchen cabinets, refrigerator and freezer to check for sufficient food.

The investigator asked John to lift his shirt, pull up his pant legs, and remove his socks to look for bruises or other injuries.

 

5. Chicago Tribune: Police and state child welfare officials investigating after 4-month-old boy from West Side dies

Se Koni Allah Cox Bey died at the hospital at 5:38 a.m., according to the medical examiner’s office. An autopsy was performed Thursday, but the cause of death was not determined and is pending further investigation.

6. Child’s death shines light on debate over qualified immunity

Ariza was found unresponsive while in temporary foster care. The lawsuit alleges the home where Ariza was staying was littered with animal feces and urine.

. . .

“This case is a perfect example to show, look, getting rid of qualified immunity as part of that civil rights bill shouldn’t just be focused on the police officers. It should be focused on all state actors,” said attorney Bryan Williams, who represents Ariza’s family.

7. Children home run by Harsh Mender’s NGO in the dock as NCPCR inspection reveals child sex abuse: Here are the shocking details

The NCPCR noted that it had come to its knowledge that there were multiple cases of child sexual abuse that had occurred within the institution at 2012, 2013 and 2016. However, during the inspection, the Commission was told that there had been no case of sexual offence at the institution and neither has been any case of child rights violation reported.

The NCPCR said, “The response given by the Staff and In- charge of the Home regarding this matter has been observed to be misleading and incorrect which is a serious violation and offence.” Furthermore, the child rights body has stated that it has knowledge of sexual abuse continuing in the shelter home and yet, it was not being reported.

8. The Washington Post: An autistic teen found a forever family because of a persistent aunt. But too few children in Virginia get that chance, a report finds.

“Part of evolving is understanding what’s right for kids, how the system is set up right now and where you can improve it,” says Nancy Toscano, the chief operating officer of UMFS, a nonprofit that works with high-risk children throughout Virginia and produced the report. “We’ve been existing in a system where we know there are broken parts.”

. . .

She describes the organization’s staff as seeing children pass through multiple homes and become more disconnected from relatives with each move. Sometimes that’s because family members are not identified, not considered because of presumptions about them or overlooked as potential placements because of past crimes that wouldn’t disqualify them in other states. Finding a relative can also require tracking down people who may not have even known that child existed, but that takes funding and viewing kinship placement as a priority.

9. Shea M. Rhodes: Why Trump should commute Lisa Montgomery’s death sentence

As happens to many victims of trafficking, the very systems that were supposed to protect Lisa Montgomery did nothing. Though school and child welfare authorities suspected abuse, they did not intervene. Montgomery has said she tried to tell authorities what was happening to her, but help did not arrive. Social services removed her older sister from the home because she, too, reportedly had been raped repeatedly, but they left the younger girl behind.

. . .

Her lifetime of sexual torture is not, as the federal prosecutors insisted at her trial, an “abuse excuse.” It is an important and, indeed, unsurprising explanation for her actions that should mitigate in favor of a sentence of life imprisonment without possibility of release.

10. Max Eden: Biden and Schools

A reversion to the regulatory status quo ante is all but certain. The biggest question is how much further a Biden administration will go. Under Obama, the Department of Education’s Office for Civil Rights was transformed from an arbitrator of last resort for allegations of discriminatory treatment to a forward operating base for the Left in America’s culture wars. From how elementary schools regulate bathrooms to how college campuses investigate sexual-assault allegations, many of the flash points in our national political debates have been intensified by unelected Department of Education bureaucrats interpreting long-standing civil rights law as a basis to enforce the latest social-justice cause.

11. A Guide to Adoption Subsidies and Assistance for Adoptive Parents

12. Washington Post: Zimbabwean teen teaches taekwondo to fight child marriage

13. Morrison Correctional inmates buy gifts for foster children

The Social Interactive and Development Club (SIDS), a men’s club at the prison with about 30 members who strive to be role models and must meet certain behavioral standards to maintain membership, raised the money through sales of food and pictures they send to their families. The club has been holding this program for more than 15 years, according to Janet Butler, a case manager at Morrison who coordinates with the Department of Social Services to identify foster children in the most need.

14. 11-year-old looks to help foster children in Boone County

15. Around the Catholic Table Adoption Fundraiser

 

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