Skip Navigation

National News

National News

These are the most recent national news articles:

Study Finds New Guidelines Help Judges Better Serve Abused and Neglected Children and Their Families

Tuesday, July 26th, 2011
Children who are removed from their parents for abuse or neglect allegations experience better outcomes when judges follow a set of decision-making guidelines during the initial removal hearing, according to a study released today by the National Council of Juvenile and Family Court Judges (NCJFCJ). Development of a benchcard containing the guidelines grew out of a national NCJFCJ initiative, Courts Catalyzing Change: Achieving Equity and Fairness in Foster Care (CCC). In partnership with Casey Family Programs and the U.S. Department of Justice Office of Juvenile Justice and Delinquency Prevention, NCJFCJ member judges throughout the country are working to reduce the overrepresentation of children of color in the foster care system along with the disparate outcomes they and their families experience. Researchers tracked more than 500 children through the court system in three cities and found that 45% more children were able to return home to their parents or live with extended family members when judges used the benchcard during their hearings. [...]
Read the rest of this article...

Court may not make ruling on child abuse case

Tuesday, March 1st, 2011
The Supreme Court indicated Tuesday that it may not make a decision about whether child social workers need warrants to talk to potential victims of sex abuse at school. Justices said the young girl whose mother sued over her seizure at school is no longer a child and therefore the case is moot. During the oral arguments, she was referred to as S.G. "There is no case or controversy between S.G. and the petitioners," said her lawyer, Carolyn Kubitschek. "Then why are you here?" Chief Justice John Roberts said. [...]
Read the rest of this article...

Pilot program offers respite option for area foster families

Tuesday, January 4th, 2011
Kris and David Nelson enjoy being parents. So much so that after their two daughters grew up, the couple opened their home to foster children. "We love family and feel this is something we can offer to others who need a caring family," said David Nelson, 62, a pastor. No matter who the child is or how long they stay, the Nelsons want to show that all are loved and all are welcome. Hugs and encouraging words are given freely. The Nelsons make time for creative activities like the New Year's "super sandwich" tradition, where fixings are piled high, Dagwood style. David and Kris Nelson at the moment care for six children --- two adopted, four foster --- between 2 and 15 years old, plus former foster kids who come back to visit. Now and then, the Nelsons, like other parents, need time to regroup and recharge, according to the couple's daughter, Andrea Nelson, 27, of Waterloo. Likewise, most kids enjoy some time away from their parents with a fun baby-sitter, she said. But until last year, child care proved complicated for the Nelsons and remains a challenge for many of Iowa's 3,000 licensed foster families, according to Nancy Magnall of the Iowa Foster and Adoptive Parent Association. [...]
Read the rest of this article...

New data: many fewer US kids are in foster care

Wednesday, September 1st, 2010
New federal figures show that the number of U.S. children in foster care has dropped 8 percent in just one year, and more than 20 percent in the past decade. The drop, welcomed by child-welfare advocates, is due largely to a shift in the policies and practices of state and county child welfare agencies. Many of them have been reducing stays in foster care, speeding up adoptions and expanding preventive support for troubled families so more children avoid being removed in the first place. [...]
Read the rest of this article...

DHS will offer to remove some names from child abuse registry

Wednesday, August 18th, 2010
State human services officials will consider removing certain people from the child abuse registry – if they appeal their cases. The Iowa Supreme Court recently ruled that state law doesn’t authorize the Iowa Department of Human Services to put people on the registry for neglecting their children by failing to supervise them. Worried that they’d have to remove all 26,988 people on the registry for that variety of neglect, DHS officials asked for the court for a rehearing. The supreme court rejected that request, but on Wednesday DHS officials said they believe they can still keep most of those people on the registry. [...]
Read the rest of this article...

Polk County tries gentler means of abused-child removal

Monday, August 9th, 2010
Iowa social workers' old way of abruptly pulling children from parents suspected of abuse or neglect is too traumatizing for everyone involved, the state's top child welfare officials believe. That method is still the norm in almost all of Iowa's counties. But in an experiment in Polk County, social workers forewarn parents that they intend to remove a child. And they invite parents to help make the removal easier: pack favorite belongings, schedule visits to see the child in foster care, hug their son or daughter goodbye. National experts view the Iowa Department of Human Services' new strategy as only a partial step toward better involving families in protecting children. Iowa has one of the higher rates in the nation of social workers removing children from their homes. [...]
Read the rest of this article...

Child abuse, neglect in WV: Stats don’t tell whole story

Wednesday, July 14th, 2010
The number of child abuse and neglect cases nationwide has been decreasing and that's also the case in West Virginia. While victims' advocates say this provides some hope, the problem is still prolific. In West Virginia, child abuse cases were increasing until four years ago. “There is just no way of denying that child abuse is decreasing, which is great and means a lot of things that we have done to try to prevent child abuse and intervene in child abuse has been making a difference and so that is a reason for hope,? said Emily Chittenden, state coordinator for the West Virginia Child Advocacy Network. [...]
Read the rest of this article...

Drug court provides hope to parents

Wednesday, April 14th, 2010
For Lena Smith, joblessness and living without basic necessities were not the catalysts for her to stop using methamphetamine. She did not hit rock bottom and realize she needed help until Sept. 17, 2007, when three of her four children were removed from her care by Bartow County Department of Family and Children Services officials. [...]
Read the rest of this article...

Adopted children at greater risk for mental health disorders

Wednesday, April 14th, 2010
Melissa Fay Greene woke up at night crying and wondering if she had "ruined our life." Long before her decision to adopt a boy from Bulgaria, she learned that raising an adopted child could be challenging. It wasn't going to be a fairy tale to raise a child who had spent most of his life in an orphanage. [...]
Read the rest of this article...

Iowa streamlines abuse-reporting

Wednesday, April 7th, 2010
Changes planned for the Iowa Department of Human Services could make reporting child abuse more efficient and more consistent and put it in line with recommendations made almost 10 years ago after a northwest Iowa girl was beaten to death. The department this week announced plans to streamline the way it receives reports of suspected abuse of children and dependent adults. Under the planned system, expected to launch in July, all such reports would go through a single office in Des Moines. Currently, eight different groups handle those reports statewide. [...]
Read the rest of this article...