The Kansas City Star Surveyed Inmates in 12 States Who Were Formerly in Foster Care and Found Long-Term Outcomes are Disturbing
In December 2019, The Kansas City Star published the results of a survey of inmates in 12 states who were formerly in foster care. The investigation resulted in a series of six stories and nine videos describing the stark outcomes for children in foster care. The newspaper contacted every state asking for participation in the survey. Twelve states agreed and distributed the one-page questionnaires to inmates.
The year-long investigation also took a comprehensive look at long-term outcomes for children who age out of the foster care system. It revealed the trauma that children suffer going into foster care and the need for trauma-informed services. Also interviewed were social workers, child welfare experts and advocates, law enforcement, judges, foster parents, doctors, scientists, and lawyers.
The Star team also reviewed decades of class action suits against states and child welfare budget statistics.
The stories are available here. The videos are available here.
In December 2019 The Boston Globe and ProPublica published an investigation into states' compliance with the federal Child Abuse Prevention and Treatment Act. They found that no state fully complies with the act's requirements. A team of journalists spent four years collecting records and creating two national databases, one of which is a state-by-state compliance assessment. The news story contains a clickable map to see how each state measures up in protecting drug-affected infants, providing representation for abuse victims in court, and producing public reports about the children who die there. The story is available here.
On August 28, 2019, the Supreme Court of Texas Permanent Commission for Children, Youth and Families issued a Jurist in Residence letter reminding attorneys and judges of education opportunities for children in foster care. The letter includes pre-K eligibility, advocates available for primary and secondary students, and higher education opportunities. To read the letter, go here. Jurist in Residence letters are a program of the permanent commission. For a list of all JIRs, go here.
The Texas Supreme Court Children's Commission is currently offering scholarships for qualifying attorneys to attend the State Bar of Texas' 2019 one-day Child Abuse and Neglect Workshop, as well as the 2019 National Association of Counsel for Children's 42nd Annual National Child Welfare, Juvenile & Family Law Conference and Red Book Training in Anaheim, California. The Commission is also offering scholarships for qualifying attorneys to attend another training from NACC, the third round of the NACC Red Book Online Training Course, which starts in September 2019. Please click here to see details about each of these scholarship opportunities. Please note: TLC is NOT the organization providing the scholarships, so if you have any questions, please contact the Children's Commission directly at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Texas Lawyers for Children is excited to announce our new Legal Professional Trauma Training Program, a two-day live training event (with 15 hours of CLE and Family Violence CJE Credit) that will increase your understanding regarding children and families who have experienced trauma, how to advocate for their healing, and ways we can work together to promote systemic change. The grant from the Office of the Governor will allow us to offer the following training events for FREE:
Dallas (June 6-7), Lorenzo Hotel--hotel discount ends May 23; Austin (mid-September); Houston (early October); Panhandle Area (late October). We have also sought an additional grant to provide this training in more cities throughout the state and will keep you posted about other opportunities. For more information about this exciting new program, please click here to see the brochure.
The new Child Protection Law Section of the State Bar of Texas, chaired by Texas Supreme Court Justice Debra Lehrmann, will be hosting its Second Annual Advanced Child Protection Law Course on March 28-29 in Dallas. This advanced course includes presentations involving 3 Texas Supreme Court Justices, a keynote address regarding the federal class action suit brought on behalf of Texas foster children, a prep session for the Child Welfare Law Specialization Exam, and many other timely topics. Early bird deadline for $25 off the registration fee is March 14, 2019. To view the conference brochure and access the link to register,
The new Child Protection Law Section of the State Bar of Texas, chaired by Texas Supreme Court Justice Debra Lehrmann, will be hosting its Second Annual Advanced Child Protection Law Course on March 28-29 in Dallas. This advanced course includes presentations involving 3 Texas Supreme Court Justices, a keynote address regarding the federal class action suit brought on behalf of Texas foster children, a prep session for the Child Welfare Law Specialization Exam, and many other timely topics. Thanks to funding from the Texas Supreme Court Children's Commission, a limited number of scholarships will be provided on a first come, first served basis to qualifying applicants. Scholarship recipients will be notified by February 15, 2019. To view the conference brochure, which includes information regarding how to apply for a scholarship,
On January 7, 2019, the Children's Bureau (which is the federal agency that provides funding for and monitors child welfare agencies across the country) changed its policy regarding use of Title IV-E funds for the costs of foster care. The Bureau is now allowing IV-E agencies to claim as an administrative cost (to be paid at the rate of 50%) the cost of legal services for attorneys for children who are candidates for foster care or who are in foster care and for the children's parents. Previously, these funds could only be used for attorneys representing the Title IV-E agencies. The Bureau made this change in its Child Welfare Policy Manual, which contains questions and answers that apply to the child welfare programs, by deleting Question & Answer 8.1B#18 and replacing it with Question & Answer 8.1B#30. This means that federal funding is now available for legal services not only in the TMC phase of the case but also for children in the permanent managing conservatorship of the State. To view the new policy,