Twelve Things That Caught My Eye: Foster Care/Adoption/Child-Welfare Edition (September 8, 2020)

1. Becket Fund for Religious Liberty: Heroic foster moms fight for the oldest foster care agency in Philadelphia

In March 2018, city officials stopped allowing foster children to be placed with families who partner with Catholic Social Services when they claimed to discover that Catholic Social Services, an arm of the Catholic Church in Philadelphia, upholds Catholic beliefs about marriage. But city officials’ actions are based on politics, not reality: there was no evidence of any same-sex couple even asking Catholic Social Services for foster care certification. And no couple has been prevented from fostering or adopting by Catholic Social Services, which serves all children in need, regardless of race, religion, sex, or sexual orientation.

2. Joint Economic Committee in the Senate: A Place to Call Home: Improving Foster Care and Adoption Policy to Give More Children a Stable Family 

3. Naomi Schaefer Riley: My Kids and Their Elite Education in Racism

4. Randy Evans: We should not just accept deaths like Sabrina’s and Natalie’s

. . . Every Iowan should be demanding to know why a committee created 20 years ago to examine the circumstances of the deaths of children from abuse or neglect has not met even once since it was formed.

Read that again. The committee has not met even once in 20 years.

The circumstances of these girls’ deaths are horrifying — and that makes the lack of follow-through by the Department of Human Services even more astonishing and aggravating.

5. The Miami Times: COVID-19 threat to kids in foster care

Typically, foster children in Florida are released from state custody when they turn 18. A law passed in 2013 gave them the option to stay in the system until they’re 21. Those with disabilities can remain until age 22. [Rep. Patricia Williams] thinks they need extra help through age 24.

“A temporary exception to the aging-out policy, and waiver of the current additional requirements for extended foster care services, could help address the elevated needs of our transitioning young adults in order to prevent unnecessary homelessness and exposure to this disease,” Williams wrote in an Aug. 31 letter to DeSantis.

6. ProPublica: Still No Answers to Lawmakers’ Questions About Children Stuck in Psychiatric Hospitals

7. Overton County News: Parental substance use linked to increase in infants in foster care

Stephen Patrick, MD, director of Vanderbilt Center for Child Health Policy and lead author of the paper, said, “While Congress recently made several improvements to the nation’s child welfare system, there remains a critical need for more funding and modernization to respond to the needs of families affected by the opioid crisis.

“Often we react to problems like this in silos. The rise of infants in foster care occurs at the intersection of the health care and child welfare systems. We need real and lasting partnerships between health care and child welfare providers to address the needs of our families.”

8. Bethany Christian Services: I Was a Stranger

9. YR: Disparities ‘Becoming Even Bigger’ For Foster Youth

Debbie Raucher, director of education at John Burton Advocates for Youth: Teachers and professors should make themselves approachable and accessible. They can put in their syllabus resources that are available, so it’s in writing. And they should say to the whole class, “If any of you are struggling right now, there are resources out there. Please come talk to me and I will help connect you.” And if they’re gonna make that offer, they should have those names and phone numbers at their fingertips to be able to provide it

10. Youth Today: Former Foster Youth Urges Siblings Be Placed Together in Foster Homes

Currently, the law provides that “unless it is contrary to the safety and wellbeing of the siblings, reasonable efforts must be made to place siblings together.” I argue that sibling togetherness should be a first priority and the first order of law when placing children and that the law must go beyond reasonable efforts toward placing siblings together. 

11.  The Victor Harbor Times: Foster carers recognised for vital role in supporting at-risk children

“As a child growing up around abuse, I saw miracles happen before my eyes in the home of my best friend, whose mother was a foster carer,” Ms Pahl said.

. . .

“Once a new child comes into our care, it’s magic. The children who are already part of our family bond together more than ever before and work as a team with us to support that child.”

12. Treasure Coast Foster Closet helps foster families and children find clothes, car seats, more

More than just helping the foster parents in a pinch is the fact that the Treasure Coast Foster Closet gives children dignity and makes them feel special and loved during what is one of the most trying times of their lives.

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