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Center for Advanced Studies in Child Welfare

Center for Advanced Studies in Child Welfare

Recently in Child Welfare System Category

Policymakers in Minnesota have increasingly been focusing on policies that positively impact young children and promote overall child well-being. Not only did the House of Representatives create a committee devoted to early childhood and youth development policy in 2013, but both the education and health and human services omnibus bills included several large provisions that seek to enhance child well-being;...
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Minnesota Statute 257.0725 requires the Department of Human Services to make available annually a report on child maltreatment and children in out-of-home placement. This report for the year 2012 is now available online. Federal Safety Measures In terms of Federal Safety Measures, Minnesota did better than the national standard for: absence of repeat maltreatmenttime to reunification (within 12 months)median months...
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The 2013 KIDS COUNT data book from the Annie E. Casey Foundation was recently released. Updated each year, KIDS COUNT provides a snapshot of child and family well-being in the United States as well as within each individual state. The data found in this year's data book is from 2011. Because there is so much data available in KIDS COUNT,...
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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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Updated and edited 7/1/13 to reflect references to U.S. Code and to provide a cautionary word of advice (see last footnote). Guest blog post by Rebecca Scholtz. Child welfare professionals can play a crucial role in helping undocumented children access immigration assistance. You don't need to be an expert in immigration law to identify an undocumented child who may be...
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In addition to Article 3 and Article 17 (Northstar Care for Children), there are other areas within Chapter 108 (the omnibus Health and Human Services finance bill) that are directly applicable to children and families involved in the child welfare system. These are just a few. Safe Harbor for Sexually Exploited Youth The Safe Harbor bill I highlighted back in...
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On May 1, 2013, the Family Reunification Act of 2013 was signed into law by Governor Dayton. The Family Reunification Act would allow under certain circumstances the reestablishment of legal parent and child relationships. The goal is to provide permanency for certain youth in foster care who would otherwise age out of the system. Under the new law, the county...
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On December 19 the Protect Our Kids Act of 2012 (H.R. 6655) was passed by the U.S. House of Representatives and sent to the Senate for consideration. Sen. Max Baucus (D-MT) introduced Protect Our Kids legislation (S. 3705) in the U.S. Senate on December 21 with bipartisan support, including the 2011 version's sponsor, Sen. John Kerry (D-MA). The Protect Our...
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The Universal Declaration of Human Rights was adopted by the General Assembly of the United Nations on December 10, 1948. Since then, December has come to be recognized as Universal Human Rights Month and December 10, Universal Human Rights Day. Last year we blogged about the UN Convention on the Rights of the Child, which has been signed but not...
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Five counties in Pennsylvania have been selected to participate in a new federal project aimed to improve outcomes for at-risk youth by allowing flexibility in the use of federal Title IV-E funds. They will be using their flexibility to incorporate preventative strategies into child welfare services. Currently, federal Title IV-E funds are meant to be used for services rendered while...
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In today's United States, where nobody asks how much we should add to the social services budget, where the word "tax" causes serious arguments, and where children only receive a minute portion of the overall federal budget, the possibility of alternative ways of financing the child welfare system is quite intriguing. In the last few months, a few phrases that...
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A bill in California that would allow kids involved in custody proceedings (and child protection as well) to have more than two legal parents is on its way to the governor's desk to be signed or vetoed. The bill's author, Senator Mark Leno, stated, "This legislation gives courts the flexibility to protect the best interests of a child... It is...
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The Minnesota House Research Department has published a Short Subject entitled Human Services Programs: The Relationship Between Federal, State, and Local Governments. The point of this Short Subject is to make clear what each government's role is in terms of the administration of Minnesota's human services programs. Federal Government's Role The federal government appropriates money and sets broad standards and...
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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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Earlier today in our Stability, Permanency & Adoption (SPA) blog, JaeRan blogged about data in the child welfare system as being "unorganized, uncentralized, and differ[ing] greatly depending on who is managing the data." She concluded with an explanation of how having better and shared data can help us better answer our questions about the wellbeing of children and families, since...
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On August 1, 2012 changes to Minnesota law regarding continuing foster care past age 18 ("extended foster care") will go into effect. The new statutes amend previous laws in order to implement the federal Fostering Connections to Success and Increasing Adoptions Act requirements: Eligibility & Requirements Youth are ineligible if they can safely return home, receive adult services due to...
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Today is World Refugee Day. At the end of 2011, 15.2 million people were refugees, with 46% being children under the age of 18. Currently it is estimated that there are more than 70,500 refugees in Minnesota; more than 3 million refugees have entered the U.S. since the Refugee Act of 1980 was passed. The current refugee ceiling (or limit)...
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On June 7, 2012, CASCW co-sponsored a reflective seminar on the role of supportive housing in the lives of at-risk adolescents and vulnerable families. For a summary of the seminar, as well as implications for children & families experiencing homelessness (in terms of supportive housing as a tool to increase permanency and stability), please see our Stability, Permanency, and Adoption...
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We here at the Center for Advanced Studies in Child Welfare have developed the Child Welfare Video Wall, with the help of LT Media.Lab at the University of Minnesota. The Child Welfare Video Wall is an opportunity for everyone who works in, cares about, or has been impacted by the field of child welfare to give voice to their...
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MN Legislative Updates

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Legislative Updates: Do you ever wonder what happens to the bills after we blog about them? Here are some bills that recently had some movement in the House and Senate. Criminal Neglect Penalties for Unreasonable Restraint of Children was signed by Governor Dayton on Wednesday, April 18, 2012. For details check out the CASCW blog post from April 12, 2012....
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Earlier this month, the House Research and Senate Counsel, Research, and Fiscal Analysis legislative offices published "side-by-side" comparisons of the House and Senate Health and Human Service Omnibus bills. As of last week the Senate File (2039) has been absorbed by the House File (2294). Because of this, the following overview of the side-by-side comparison will be examining how the...
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This month the Center for Advanced Studies in Child Welfare has three new Policy Briefs available online. CASCW's Policy Briefs aim to explore how the field of child welfare interacts with policy and research. The Briefs serve as a "user's guide" for policy makers and advocates, pointing to the articles most directly linked to policy problems and promising solutions. Links...
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Rep. Jim Abeler, chair of House HHS Finance Committee, and Sen. David Hann, chair of Senate HHS Committee. Photo courtesy of MN House of Representatives This week has been fairly quiet regarding child welfare legislative hearings. On Monday, the Senate HHS Committee held a hearing on the recent Office of the Legislative Auditor's Child Protection Screening evaluation (audio), and yesterday...
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Minnesota Senate File 1675 was heard on February 15th and February 21st. This bill has a number of amendments that affect child welfare. Click here to see the full bill text. This bill has been referred to the Senate Judiciary Committee. Here are a few of the pieces of the bill that were discussed in the hearing: Expand Safe Place...
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Last week, the Center for Advanced Studies in Child Welfare in partnership with the Center for Early Education and Development released the winter edition of CW360° entitled: "Using a Developmental Approach in Child Welfare Practice." CW360° is a magazine-length, standalone publication which uses a multidisciplinary approach to examine a prominent issue in the field of child welfare. The publication is...
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On December 20th, Rep. Frederica Wilson (D-FL) introduced H.R. 3741: Rilya Wilson Act (no relation to the Representative), which aims to "protect foster children and to ensure that every state has a procedure in place to promptly report their disappearance." Essentially, this bill would require child welfare agencies to report missing or abducted children to law enforcement as soon as...
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Have you heard the term "Evidence-Based Practice" thrown around the past couple of years? Although we know it is the ability to make informed decision based on research, how does that exactly work in the field? More importantly, when trying to do more with less, how can one work toward proven outcomes with budget cuts? What is Evidence-Based Practice (EBP)?...
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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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Monday April 4th was the 15th Annual Social Work Day at the Capitol. The local Fox 9 News covered the social workers' rally. Here's the short video: Social Workers' Rally Supports Dayton's Wealthy Tax: MyFoxTWINCITIES.com The MN Social Service Association put out a call to action. The full MN House, on April 6th, will begin debate on HF 927 (the...
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Welcome back for another Child Welfare Week in Review! This week the US Supreme Court heard a case involving child abuse investigations at schools, regarding whether parent's consent is required before a child can be questioned at school by a child care worker or a police officer. Read mainstream media coverage, and in-depth legal analysis. In the MN House Health...
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Among many advocates who provided public testimony in the House Health and Human Services Finance Committee, two individuals spoke specifically about Child Welfare elements of the budget. This testimony took place on Wednesday, February 23, 2011. You can listen to the audio or view the video recordings at this link. The advocates who spoke about Child Welfare issues each have...
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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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A class of U of M School of Social Work students asked some great follow up questions to the earlier Funding 101 post. Here are the questions and responses. Thanks for your curiosity! Q: How does Minnesota compare, in terms of total Child Welfare expenditures, to other states? A: Minnesota spending is 14th highest out of all states, including Washington,...
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