As Senate Republicans struggle to repeal and replace the Affordable Care Act, one thing they can agree on is cutting federal spending on Medicaid.
The program was expanded under the ACA as a way of extending coverage to more people, mostly school-age children and adults who previously weren’t eligible. There are 37 million kids, the biggest group of Medicaid enrollees, who would be hit hard by cuts to coverage and benefits. Read more
New York lawmakers last week closed their 2017 session in “legislative hell,” as one Senator called it, without resolving a number of important issues, including the Child Victims Act, which would reform New York’s antiquated child sex abuse statutes of limitations (SOLs). It would extend the civil and criminal SOLs, revive expired civil SOLs for one year, and eliminate the “notice of claim” requirement that has hobbled public school victims’ access to justice. Read more
Imagine the following scenario: John, a single father of two, has been arrested. He is charged with theft and his bail is set at $2,000. Because John cannot meet this requirement, he is held in jail until his trial. His sons cannot remain on their own, and John has no immediate family who can care for them, so they are placed in foster care, in separate homes. After six weeks, John goes to trial and is found not guilty and released from jail.
John and his family’s lives have been drastically impacted by this experience. Because John was unable to Read more
In this era of a White House that seems impervious to the concept of accountability, you might well think this column will be about President Donald Trump. That is a tempting topic to be sure given the constitutional Framers’ baseline belief in the fallibility of humans and the tendency to abuse power in light of Trump’s uncontrollable urge to turn every moment into a moment of self-adulation. But this column is about a more absolute power exercised in a corrupt way.
Have you seen The Keepers on Netflix yet? If not, sit down and binge-watch all seven episodes, Read more
A bipartisan trio of senators are pushing a bill to provide funding and resources for onboarding every state to electronic data—sharing systems for interstate foster placements and adoptions.
The Modernizing Interstate Placement of Children in Foster Care Act would speed up interstate placements, giving children stable homes faster, according to sponsors Sens. Chuck Grassley (R-IA), Todd Young (R-IN), and Kristen Gillibrand (D-NY).
Many state foster care agencies rely on outdated paper systems to process and approve foster care and adoption placements, both in-state and across state lines. While states spend thousands of dollars on copying and mailing, a child’s placement in a loving, stable home is delayed Read more
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Initially Donald Trump Jr. said his 2016 meeting with Russian lawyer Natalia Veselnitskayas and Russian-American lobbyist Rinat Akhmetshin was about adoption. Read more
As Father’s Day approaches, retail sales are everywhere. Yet although fathers have a secure place in the annual sales calendar, their role in the lives of their children is underappreciated by government at every level.
Too many children, including here in the Commonwealth of Pennsylvania, lack the benefit of being raised by both parents. Usually it is the father who is absent. In Philadelphia, for example, 60 percent of children live in a single-parent household. Of all single-parent households, 83 percent are mother-only households and 17 percent father-only.
Social research strongly suggests that a father’s absence from a child’s life has a negative impact on child well-being throughout the child’s formative life and beyond. Negative effects include economic deprivation, increased probability of later incarceration, double the probability of dropping out of high school, greater likelihood of smoking and use of alcohol and drugs, plus higher risks of economic, physical, and emotional neglect.
Further, the tendency of child protective services is still to focus on serving mothers despite research highlighting the important role of fathers in their children’s development. “Current policy regarding child protection services places increasing demands for providers to engage fathers whose children are involved in the child protection process. Implementation of this policy clashes with the ongoing challenges that fathers have historically faced in working within these systems” (“Engaging Fathers in Child Protection Services,” Children and Youth Services Review, August 2012).
The current policy and practice of state intervention in family affairs suffer from an institutional and cultural bias that undervalues the role of fathers. This Father’s Day, let’s take time to reflect on the pressing need to help all fathers become fully involved in the lives of their children. Let’s hope, too, that those who provide children services of all types will make a greater effort to include fathers in their programs. For those fathers affected, the added time spent with their children would be far more appreciated than a new necktie.
My thanks to Rufus S. Lynch of The Strong Families Commission for educating me on the urgent need for father involvement.
The children in America’s foster care system face a tremendous amount of psychological stress.
Many have been removed from traumatic home situations because of neglect or physical or sexual abuse. Their life in foster care often includes uncertainty, frequent moves, and other difficulties that cause psychological stress. Data collected by the National Survey of Child and Adolescent Well-Being (NSCAW) estimates that “approximately half of youths aged 2 to 14 years with completed child welfare investigations had clinically significant emotional or behavioral problems” (GAO-12-270T).
The Administration for Children and Families (ACF) states Read more
Six years ago, Brady Howe and his husband became parents. They adopted their son privately through the Open Adoptions & Family Services agency. Soon, they added the boy’s two older sisters to the family through the foster care system. Their family is an extended one, with birth mother, foster mothers, and grandmothers all actively involved in the kids’ lives.
A non-profit agency Open Adoptions also contracts Read more
The headlines on child sex abuse have been dominated for years by issues from the Catholic Church, culminating with last year’s Oscar-winning movie, Spotlight. There have been other scandals, of course, like Penn State, the New England boarding schools, and the polygamist sects, among many, but the Catholic cases and issues have continually rolled into the headlines. The latest is that the Manhattan Archdiocese in New York is partially covering the cost of sex abuse claims there by getting a mortgage of $100 million on hotel property that it owns.
I am the last person to say that the Read more