The Corner

Culture

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

1. NBC News: 9,000 children died in Irish mother-and-baby homes, report finds

“We did this to ourselves, we treated women exceptionally badly,” Ireland’s Taoiseach, or prime minister, Micheál Martin, told reporters Tuesday after the report was published. “One hard truth in all of this, is that all of society was complicit in it,” he added.

The report also noted the “appalling” rate of infant mortality in the homes, calling it “probably the most disquieting feature of these institutions.”

2. 17 children rescued from bangle unit in Hyderabad

According to the police, the children were made to work from dawn to dusk for more than 12 hours, without any break and were made to live in unhygienic conditions. “They were not provided any holidays and most of them were suffering from malnutrition, stunted growth and other health issues. These children were covered with fine dust from head to toe,” the official said, adding that a case was registered under the Indian Penal Code, Juvenile Justice Act and sections of the Child Labour Act at Mailardevpally police station. The children were sent to a shelter home after being produced before the Child Welfare Committee, Ranga Reddy.

3. Uzbekistan: 185 newborns sold over four-year period

Tanzil Narbayeva, the chairwoman of the human trafficking committee and speaker of the Senate, has said 75 percent of women apprehended trying to sell newborns were not registered in a family or regional clinic.

“There is no single system of interaction between government agencies in the fight against child trafficking. An automated system to record people from early pregnancy to childbirth has not been created,” she told Uzreport.

This kind of frank admission suggests the figure of trafficked children provided by the Interior Ministry may not accurately describe the real scale of the problem.

4.Children cannot afford another year of school disruption

Without school meals, children are left hungry and their nutrition is worsening. Without daily interactions with their peers and a reduction in mobility, they are losing physical fitness and showing signs of mental distress. Without the safety net that school often provides, they are more vulnerable to abuse, child marriage and child labour.

5. Child advocates preparing for surge of children needing foster care, permanent homes

Suggs said that, in the past 10 months, children have not been in their normal places like school and the doctor’s offices that also serve as an extra set of eyes and ears on children, identifying who needs help from child welfare services.

At the same time, Suggs said, fewer parents have expressed interest in becoming foster families or adopting.

“We think there’s going to be a surge once kids are back and all those normal places where they have visibility. And so we’re preparing to ensure that we have a workforce that’s ready and able to meet the needs of those children, but also that we have foster parents that are ready and able to take care of children,” Suggs said.

7. From Foster Care to Homelessness: How the Aging Out Process Affects Youth

A 2019 study examined the value of supporting older youths. It drew on previous research about decision-making skills and how these develop during adolescent and young adult years. Teens were observed to be more easily influenced by their peers, leading to “risky behavior.” On the other hand, adults over the age of 24 were able to make decisions independently with greater success.

The conclusion? For youths achieving important developmental milestones, such as learning decision-making and coping skills and becoming more independent, the presence of an adult to guide them through the process was key. Lack of adult involvement adversely affected decisions made.

8. Charlotte Baughman: New York City Must Provide WiFi to Homeless Families

I am a social worker supporting parents with family court cases and have seen many families struggle with the senseless and harmful regulations imposed by the shelter system. Family shelters do not typically provide internet to residents but also do not allow residents to install WiFi in their units. They also enforce curfews and limits on how long a family can be absent from the shelter. They prohibit residents from relying on each other for childcare, or non-residents to enter the shelter to babysit or help with cleaning or household chores.

These rules restrict access to family and community support and heighten the stress and isolation experienced by homeless families trying to parent during the worst health crisis in recent history. 

9. Huffpost: Experts Predict What School Will Look Like Next Fall

Throughout the pandemic, academic experts have struggled to estimate what kind of learning loss children will have experienced. Some have said it may not be that bad; others warn children will have lost nine months of learning by the end of this year. Virtually all agree the pandemic will have significantly worsened existing disparities.

Educators will have to find ways to accurately gauge where students are when they return to some level of normalcy next fall, and to make up for that loss, whether that takes the form of summer instruction, high-intensity tutoring or something else.

“Now is the time for school systems to prepare post-pandemic strategies,” said a recent report by the consulting group McKinsey that urged schools and districts to work on a plan for the fall and beyond.

10. Meet Cristina and Carlos, a married couple who care for sick children

Their faith makes them grateful to God for this vocation. Cristina says, “There’s nothing special about us; we aren’t different from others. We are very sinful, very small, very prone to anger, very ready to fight, very everything. And yet, God wanted to give us that gift.”

11. Police officer adopts little girl he cared for while on duty

The dad-of-two explained to GMA that while Kaila’s caretakers were being charged with her abuse, there was no place for her with child protective services. So Zach and his wife Cierra seized the opportunity to welcome Kaila into their home until a more permanent solution was found.

“She came with a sippy cup, a bag of clothes that didn’t fit her and that was it,” shared the kindhearted police officer. However, after a few days she quickly adapted to Zach family life and the Zachs quickly became “mom” and “dad.”

12.