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Center for Advanced Studies in Child Welfare

Center for Advanced Studies in Child Welfare

Recently in Adoption Category

This post is written by the Stability, Permanency, and Adoption MSW Intern, Andrea Brubaker, with additional content from editor Heidi Ombisa Skallet. Yesterday I provided some background information on adoption assistance and the Adoption and Safe Families Act. As a follow up, I will now lay out two bills about adoption incentives—The Promoting Adoption and Legal Guardianship for Children in...
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This post is written by the Stability, Permanency, and Adoption MSW Intern, Andrea Brubaker. This past September, Senator Dave Camp (R-MI) introduced the Promoting Adoption and Legal Guardianship for Children in Foster Care Act. The bill would certify the continued funding for the Adoption Incentives program, prioritize increasing adoption rates, and create a legal guardianship category within the eligibility requirements....
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This post is written by the Stability, Permanency, and Adoption MSW Intern, Andrea Brubaker. Scientific evidence shows the detrimental impact of institutionalized care on brain development in children. While many governments in other countries want to place children in permanent homes they often don't have the resources to do so. As a result, many children are left in orphanages, foster...
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Last month, the U.S. Supreme Court issued a decision on Adoptive Couple v. Baby Girl, otherwise known as the Baby Veronica case. The U.S. Supreme Court had been asked to decide what constitutes a "parent" under the Indian Child Welfare Act (ICWA), specifically if the definition includes an unwed biological father who had not complied with state law to establish...
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The main piece (in my opinion) of Chapter 108 (the session law that was the omnibus Health & Human Services Finance bill) is Article 17, which establishes Chapter 256N in Minnesota Statutes, Northstar Care for Children. As I said in an earlier blog post on Northstar Care for Children, this program will make foster care, relative guardian/custody assistance (guardianship assistance),...
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Northstar Care for Children

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Northstar Care for Children is a proposed program in Minnesota that consolidates Adoption Assistance, Relative Custody Assistance, and family foster care into just one program that would equalize payments for these programs for children ages 6 and older. This program aims to increase permanency through adoption or legal guardianship by a relative, recognizing that current payment rates provide monetary disincentives...
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Our sister blog, the Stability, Permanency, and Adoption (SPA) blog, recently posted on legislation in the U.S. House of Representatives & Senate that would renew the Adoption Tax Credit, which assists families who wish to adopt by offsetting the costs of adoption. It is set to expire on December 31, 2012. Read more on our SPA blog....
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An article grabbed my attention a couple of days ago: Child Protection Inquiry told that forced adoption of at-risk children should become 'an option'. I had to read it—"forced" adoptions? Of "at-risk" kids? The article highlighted an increasingly-popular proposal affecting children and families in Queensland, Australia, "parendectomy of incompetent parents," whereby parents who are deemed "incompetent" would lose their rights...
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The Surrey County Council (in the UK) is now offering the same maternity pay as birth mothers to adoptive mothers, in order to allow them time off to bond with their children without suffering financial hardship. At the same time, this move is also seen as a way to remove barriers to adoption and thus encourage others to "mak[e] space...
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The 2012 legislative session concluded with several changes to Minnesota child welfare policy. This has been covered extensively in past blog posts, but I thought the topic of sibling placement and separation was important to highlight. New statutory language related to siblings involved in child welfare Overall, the new statutory language indicates that keeping siblings together is preferred over the...
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A new report authored by Movement Advancement Project, Family Equality Council, and Center for American Progress discusses how legal recognition of LGBT parents is important for their children's social, emotional, and physical well-being. Specifically, this report, entitled Securing Legal Ties for Children Living in LGBT Families, focuses on how marriage and parenting laws impact children in LGBT households, and it...
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The Minnesota Department of Human Services has just released two bulletins summarizing the 2012 children and family services legislation & the 2012 adoption assistance legislation. Most of the new changes are effective August 1 or 2, 2012, with the exception of Jacob's Law, which is effective July 1, 2012. For our child welfare-related summaries of this legislation, see our S.F....
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An article today from Child Welfare in the News discussed the issue of considering religion in adoptive placements in Israel. Currently in Israel, parents and adopted children must be of the same religion, meaning that non-Jewish children who are adopted by Jews must be converted to Judaism: "Those adopting non-Jewish children must convert them through a special Orthodox rabbinical court...
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This blog post will address child welfare modifications from Articles 3 and 4 of S.F. 1675, which was recently signed into law by Governor Dayton. Article 3: Adoption Assistance Language from the adoption statute 260 was moved to 259A to create a more seamless process from child protection. Article 4: Child Protection Reasonable efforts for reunification: Exemptions added:If a parent...
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On April 23, 2012, Governor Dayton signed S.F. 1675/ H.F. 1967 into law. This blog post will take an in depth look into Article 1. Future blog posts will address the remaining articles. Article 1: Children and Families Policy Provisions Child Maltreatment Review Panel has been eliminated.MFIP transitional standard breakdown of food and cash has been taken out of statute...
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Cross-posted from the Stabilty, Permanency and Adoption blog. A controversial ruling by the U.S. 10th Circuit Court of Appeals regarding an Indian Child Welfare Act case has been brought to the U.S. Supreme Court on behalf of the Cherokee Nation. The Cherokee Nation is asking the U.S. Supremem Court to determine whether the tribe has the jurisdiction to define their...
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World AIDS Day

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World AIDS Day 2011 provides some glimmers of hope for children with HIV/AIDS worldwide. HIV and AIDS related deaths for children under age 15 have dropped 10 percent since 2005 and the number of newly infected children has dropped by 24 percent in the same time period. Still, nearly 10 percent of the globe's orphans have been left without a...
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Tomorrow, several states and counties across the United States will finalize adoptions as part of National Adoption Day 2011, the day designated each year to bring awareness and recognition of foster care adoption in the United States (for more information about Adoption Day events in Minnesota click here). Over the past month, two bills have been introduced to support the...
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The Foster Children Opportunity Act, H.R. 3333, which was introduced on November 3rd, 2011, would protect abused and neglected immigrant children in foster care and ensure they are given ample opportunity to gain legal status before they leave care. Under current immigration law, many immigrant foster children are eligible for Special Immigrant Juvenile Status (SIJS) and other types of immigration...
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Last Friday, Senator Kirsten Gillibrand (D-NY) announced plans to introduce the Every Child Deserves A Family Act, an anti-discrimination bill that would prohibit child welfare agencies receiving federal assistance from discriminating against prospective foster or adoptive parents based solely on sexual orientation, gender identity and/or marital status. In addition, this bill would prohibit agencies from discriminating against the sexual orientation...
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The bill HR 433, introduced by Minnesota Representative Michele Bachmann on October 12, 2011, highlights the importance of supporting the goals and ideals of National Adoption Day (November 19, 2011) and National Adoption Month (November). In addition to supporting National Adoption Month and Day, the bill's purpose is also to recognize that every child in foster care deserves a permanent...
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Minnesota Law defining marriage as a civil contract between a man and a woman was established in 1976. In 1996 the federal government signed the Defense of Marriage Act (DOMA). The act defined 'marriage' as only a legal union between one man and one woman as husband and wife, and 'spouse' as a person of the opposite sex who is...
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On the 21st and 22nd the House and Senate, respectively, passed H.R. 2883: Child and Family Services Improvement and Innovation Act. H.R. 2883 was sponsored by Geoff Davis [R-KY4] and cosponsored by 16 additional legislators (listed at the end of this post). This bill's companion legislation is S. 1542, which was introduced by Max Baucus [D-MT] and passed the Senate...
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Our Friday recap of highlighted legislation on our Facebook page: S. 1234: Partners for Stable Families and Foster Youth Affected by Methamphetamine or Other Substance Abuse ActBill description: A bill to amend part B of title IV of the Social Security Act to reauthorize grants to assist children affected by methamphetamine or other substance abuse under the promoting safe and...
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Our Friday recap of highlighted legislation on our Facebook page: H.R. 2012/S. 420: Foster Care Mentoring Act of 2011Bill description: To support the establishment or expansion and operation of programs using a network of public and private community entities to provide mentoring for children in foster care.Bill status: Waiting for a hearing in the House Education and the Workforce committee.This...
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This week on our Facebook page we began highlighting current child welfare-related legislation in the U.S. Congress as a way to keep our readers informed about legislation that, if enacted, may impact their work with clients involved in the child welfare system. As an extension of this service, we will be recapping our Facebook highlights each Friday with additional commentary...
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Last update: 8-19-2011 (updates highlighted in yellow) This is a list of current adoption-related bills in the U.S. Congress. Although I attempted to ensure that it is an exhaustive list, I may have missed one or more. If you know of an adoption-related bill that is not in this list, please let me know! Also, please feel free to put...
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To wrap up the month of June's focus on international adoption, I'd like to discuss illegal international adoptions, as well as what happens when international adoptions are disrupted. It is important to understand the issues these can cause for the field of child welfare in the United States. Illegal International Adoptions An international adoption can quickly and sometimes inadvertently become...
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In this post we will discuss policies informing international adoption both in the United States and in Minnesota. Note that other countries will have their own policies regarding international adoptions; for examples, see this recent article on new regulations in Ukraine, Mexico, and the Democratic Republic of Congo. Future posts will look at how these policies translate into processes, as...
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As the legislative activity at the Minnesota Legislature winds down, the Child Welfare Policy Blog will continue to provide a weekly update of happenings at the Capitol. In addition, starting this week, we will post a weekly blog entry dedicated to a special topic related to child welfare policy. We will tackle a different policy theme each month. This way,...
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Back into the swing of things, the legislature reconvened this week after a recess. There's very little consensus at the Capitol these days, but everyone seems to agree that there is a long way to go before a budget solution is reached. And time is beginning to run short. The Minnesota Council of Nonprofits writes very helpful, accessible and in-depth...
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The MN Legislature is on recess this week in observance of religious holidays. During the break in action, we thought you might like to hear more about the Northstar bill. Most years, the MN Department of Human Services puts forth its own bill regarding child welfare policy. This stands separate from the main DHS bill - it shows just how...
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The House passed the Health and Human Services Omnibus bill this week, SF760. Here are some of the key Child Welfare elements: Streamlining the Children and Community Services Act (CCSA), see line 30.21 Appropriation of $64.3 million for each biennium. For American Indian Child Welfare projects, see line 281.10 Subd. 14b. The amounts of the Children's Services Grants can be...
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It is a contentious week at the Capitol in the high-stakes budget debate. Health care is the main focus of the Health and Human Service discussions, since it comprises the majority of spending in that portion of our state's budget. Child Welfare elements of the bills appear to have moved through unchanged*. So that you don't have to scour the...
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Let's dig a little deeper into the Governor's budget recommendations, specifically the CCSA allocation and adoption assistance. The Children and Community Services Act is the bulk of the state's contribution to Child Protection. Since last year's reduction was passed as a one-time cut, and since the proposal to make last year's cuts to CCSA permanent were vetoed by the Governor,...
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This week, Governor Dayton released his budget proposal. Keep in mind that the legislature and the Governor are taking opposing approaches to resolving this budget deficit. So don't get too attached to the details within this budget, as it's very likely to change through the legislative process. That said, this link will take you to several resources about the Governor's...
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