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Child Welfare
News: Child Welfare

Group Amplifies Complaints by Foster-Care Parents, Kids

An advocacy group in Harlem says it is hearing more and more from parents and children who believe the child-welfare system has been insufficiently responsive to their complaints.

Exclusive Interview: New Child-Welfare Chief Eyes Change

New ACS Commissioner Gladys Carrión talks about juvenile justice, foster care and how to improve her agency's reputation among the families it serves.

Juvenile Justice Reform Falls Short of Goals

The Close to Home initiative was supposed to move detained kids to less restrictive settings and improve their ability to complete their education. That hasn't happened.

Looking After the Welfare of Child Welfare Workers

Burnout among child welfare workers hurts kids in foster care. In 2011, an effort was launched to give New York City caseworkers the support they need to stay on the job.

False Abuse Reports Trouble Child Welfare Advocates

Child protection experts say false, malicious reports of abuse are not uncommon. Efforts to address the problem face complex challenges.

Push to Keep NY's Teens Out of Adult Court

New York is one of only two states that regularly tries 16- and 17-year-olds as adults. Efforts to reform the system have run into opposition.

Twenty-Something ... and Ready to be Adopted

Children who "age out" of foster care often face steep challenges, prompting new interest in finding families for people much older than typical candidates for adoption.

Pushing Cops to Consider Kids When Arresting Parents

While some New York police agencies already avoid having kids witness a parent's bust and take steps to ensure care after Mom or Dad are detained, advocates say want more done to limit the effect of arrests and incarceration on children

Growing Concern Over Broken Adoptions

For more than a decade national child welfare policy has encouraged timely adoptions as way to stabilize the lives of kids in foster care. But the system is challenged when a child's new home proves to be a bad fit.

Adoption Numbers in Question

Sixteen years ago the federal government put new pressure on states to facilitate adoptions. But it never bothered to track how many of those adoptions fail.

Adoption: From an Option to a Mandate

Adoption is a good outcome for many children in foster care. But not every adoptive parent-child combination is meant to be.

One Foster Child's Choice? Not To Be Adopted

S.D. held out hope that her parents would bring her home. That never happened. But avoiding adoption was her choice—and it was a wise one, her lawyer says.

Solutions to Broken Adoptions May Lie in Gray Areas

While there's disagreement among child welfare officials and advocates about all we can do to prevent broken adoptions, there is consensus on a few common-sense steps.

Mixture of Hope and Concern for City's New Daycare Program

The city hopes EarlyLearn will make for higher-quality city-funded daycare. Despite funding shortages and doubts about the way contracts were awarded, some agencies and advocates believe the program has promise.

Life at the Epicenter of Stop-and-Frisk

No precinct saw more police stops in 2011 than the 75th in East New York, and no patrol sector in the 7-5 had more encounters than Sector E. There, realism about crime and resentment of the police go hand-in-hand.

Child Welfare Head: Family Court Crunch Escapes Pols' Notice

In an interview with City Limits, Administration for Children's Services Commissioner Ronald Richter says of the scarce resources in Family Court: “Our issues are often not popular. It takes a lot of effort to draw politicians’ attention.”

From Mom to Not in Seven Minutes: Inside Family Court

City Limits spent months observing Family Court and found an overburdened system where delays were endemic, legal help was scarce and the approach to solving family problems was divided. This is the first chapter in our report.

When Delays Dominate, Kids Lose

Chapter two of our Family Court investigation focuses on the courtrooms that handle custody and child support, where many people try to navigate complex legal lingo without a lawyer, and where running out the clock can be a weapon in warfare between parents.

Blurred Lines Between Advocates and Adversaries

All parties in Family Court are supposed to be fighting for the welfare of the child. But chapter 3 of our Family Court investigation finds that in the adversarial format of a courtroom, players sometimes take on conflicting roles.

Juvenile Justice System Excludes Many Youthful Wrongdoers

New York's juvenile justice system is the target of reform efforts. But to some critics, it's the fact that New York State tries so many teens outside of juvenile court that most needs reform. Chapter 4 in our Family Court investigation.


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More than 70,000 children enter New York City’s child protective network or juvenile justice system in a typical year. From family court to foster care, secure detention facilities to adoption, child welfare policy is where compelling desires to protect children, respect families and ensure public safety meet—and sometimes clash.

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BLOG ENTRIES

Report: Shift in Child Welfare Policy Undermined by Budget Moves - Helen Zelon

The IBO depicts a profound change at the Administration for Children's Services, with preventive offerings replacing foster care as the agency's go-to policy. But questionable budget decisions undercut the impact of the shift.

Human Factor Looms Large In ACS System - Helen Zelon

The recent indictment of two Administration for Children's Services workers in the death of a Brooklyn four-year-old has focused new attention on the city's system for detecting and stopping child abuse and neglect. In this interview, City Limits' Helen Zelon explains how legal process and human nature interact in the child welfare system.

Veteran Provider Takes Big ACS Job - Helen Zelon

The Administration of Children’s Services has announced the appointment of Charles Barrios, a licensed psychotherapist with decades of service at Good Shepherd Services in Brooklyn, as Deputy Commissioner for Family Support Services.

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CONVERSATIONS/OPINONS

Does Poverty Cause Child Abuse?

By Dawn Post

Does Poverty Cause Child Abuse?

Poor parents are no more likely to hurt or neglect their kids, the author argues. They're just more likely to be punished for failings both real and imagined.

Custody Battle Delays Mean Kids Grow Up in Family Court

By Dawn Post

Custody Battle Delays Mean Kids Grow Up in Family Court

A shortage of judges means some children and their families spend years in the system, exacerbating whatever problems brought them there in the first place.

Racial Disparities Color Media Coverage of Child Abuse Victims

By Dawn Post

Racial Disparities Color Media Coverage of Child Abuse Victims

Whether they are victims of child abuse or lose a parent to murder, kids in some neighborhoods get treated differently when faced with tragedy. Readers and viewers must demand better.

Family Court's Need is Absent from the Ballot

By Ben Krull

Family Court's Need is Absent from the Ballot

Come Election Day, voters will decide whether to raise the retirement age of judges to deal with civil and criminal court backlogs. But nothing is being done for Family Court, which oversees New York's most vulnerable.

The Adoption Subsidy: Good Intentions Unfortunate Realities

By Dawn Post

The Adoption Subsidy: Good Intentions Unfortunate Realities

Despite alarming cases of abuse, the child welfare system still lacks strict safeguards to make sure parents who earn fees to care for children actually provide a nurturing home.

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MULTIMEDIA

Educational Attainment in the Bronx

This infographic chart, produced by the Institute for Children, Poverty, and Homelessness (www.icphusa.org) showcases educational attainment in the Bronx for adults (25 years and older).

Design Deficiencies and Lost Votes

In 2010, tens of thousands of votes in New York did not count due to overvotes — the invalid selection of more than one candidate. This report demonstrates how the lack of adequate overvote protections disproportionately affected the state's poorest communities, suggests commonsense reforms, and examines national implications.

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