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Center for Advanced Studies in Child Welfare

Center for Advanced Studies in Child Welfare

Recently in Foster/Kinship Care 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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In general, young adults ages 19-26 are overrepresented among the uninsured in the U.S. Estimates from the Centers for Disease Control show that 27.5% of youth in this age group were uninsured in the first 3 months of 2012, compared to 15.4% of the general population. According to a 2012 article from Policy, Politics, & Nursing Practice, there are 24,000...
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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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May: A Month of Awareness

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May is National Foster Care Awareness Month. This is a way to bring awareness and attention to the needs of foster youths, foster parents, adoptive parents, and so many other individuals who work to help these children succeed. Interestingly, May is also National Mental Health Awareness Month per a presidential proclamation signed by President Barack Obama. This was done with...
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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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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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JaeRan Kim recently blogged about the Uninterrupted Scholars Act on our Stability, Permanency, and Adoption Blog. I've cross-posted her post here; to read the whole post, please visit the original post. Representative Karen Bass (D-CA) along with bipartisan support from fellow members of the Congressional Caucus on Foster Youth Reps. Tom Marino (R-PA), Michelle Bachmann (R-MN) and Jim McDermott...
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The Children's Law Center of Minnesota has published a module entitled Critical Advocacy Tools For Attorneys Helping Foster Youth Clients Achieve Positive Outcomes During and After Preparation for Adulthood, written by Staff Attorney Julia Hillel Larsen. The Children's Law Center represents many youth in court hearings and works to make sure their clients are getting their needs met. Many of...
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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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Over the past few months we've highlighted some of the changes in Minnesota's foster care policies resulting from the 2012 legislative session. Here are some of our posts on the topic: New foster care legislation in Minnesota, part 2(Stability, Permanency, & Adoption Blog, July 18, 2012)Keywords: relative search, definition of family to a child, paternal relatives, relative/kin engagement, best interests...
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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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Recently at CASCW's supportive housing training, the topic of full family (FF) foster care was brought up. This sparked my curiosity regarding current research on the effectiveness of FF foster care, which is also referred to as whole family foster care. In doing a brief search of the literature, it became apparent that the most recent research on FF foster...
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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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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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Extended Foster Care

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Hello! My name is Megan Carriveau, and I am an MSW student interning part time this summer at CASCW. When I am not at CASCW, I am interning at Hennepin County Social Services Extended Foster Care Unit. As a way to introduce myself and my interests, I wanted to briefly discuss how Hennepin County has implemented the Fostering Connections to...
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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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There are more than 400,000 children and youth in foster care; May has been designated as National Foster Care Month in order to bring awareness of the experiences of these children and youth. This year's theme is "Change A Lifetime" in order to encourage individuals to work to change the lives of children and youth in foster care. One way...
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On March 7, 2012, Representative Liebling introduced H.F. 2713 which would prohibit smoking in a residence that provides licensed foster care for children. Senator Hayden introduced the companion bill S.F. 2376 on March 12, 2012. As you may be aware, additional smoking bans have been implemented over the past 5 years regarding smoking in public establishments. Over the past 10...
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On Monday, March 5th the Minnesota Senate held a hearing on S.F. 1412 which was introduced by Senator Senjem. The purpose of the bill is to create an exception to the foster care moratorium to allow the licensing of facilities that serve children with severe autism. *A moratorium on new child and adult corporate foster homes was enacted in July...
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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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All are equal before the law and are entitled without any discrimination to equal protection of the law. All are entitled to equal protection against any discrimination in violation of this Declaration.--UN Declaration of Human Rights As one reflects on Human Rights Month it is important to think of those who may have the smallest voice of all: CHILDREN! Children...
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On November 22nd, Michigan became the seventh state to opt into extending foster care from 18 to 21 since the Fostering Connections Act was signed into law in 2008. Over the last three years, 25 states have submitted program design plans for approval, 11 of which included plans to extend foster care through age 21. The child welfare field is...
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UPDATE: Check out Child Welfare Information Gateway's webpage providing resources on the use of psychotropic medicines for children and youth in fostercare. With the newly-released Government Accountability Office report, "Foster Children: HHS Guidance Could Help States Improve Oversight of Psychotropic Prescriptions," there has been a flurry of activity recently on the issue of over-medicating youth in foster care. I don't...
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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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According to the Annie E. Casey Foundation report on reducing juvenile incarceration, well over 60,000 young people are confined to correctional facilities or other residential programs for juvenile delinquency. Juvenile delinquency is broadly defined and encompasses a range of offenses from serious and violent to petty and minor. Conditions within such facilities and even within the foster care system can...
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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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Did you know that the average annual cost of housing juveniles in a locked facility is $88,000 per person? As a whole, states spend approximately $6,000,000,000 a year on incarcerated youth. In addition to the cost, incarcerated youth are 50 times more likely to recidivate than their counterparts who remain in the community. Finally, 70 percent of incarcerated youth have...
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H. R. 3076 was introduced on October 3, 2011. The purpose of this bill is to amend the Internal Revenue Code to qualify formerly homeless youth who are students for purposes of the low income housing tax credit. The bill affects those youth identified as homeless by the McKinney-Vento Homeless Assistance Act sec. 725, which includes those children awaiting foster...
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September is National Infant Mortality Awareness Month. This is an important awareness campaign, and on September 23rd, the Senate passed a Resolution supporting its values and goals. However, you may be wondering what it has to do with Child Welfare policy. Well, I'm glad you asked! First, some background. This observance was established by the National Healthy Start Association, which...
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Dr. Jack Shonkoff, co-editor of From Neurons to Neighborhoods, spoke at the symposium "Applying the Science of Early Childhood Development to Child Welfare Policy and Practices" in Oregon last month. Shonkoff, along with Philip A. Fisher a University of Oregon psychology professor, emphasized the neurological basis for the developmental, social, and behavioral problems of very young children experiencing toxic stress....
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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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Hello again! Over the past few weeks we have been working to revamp our policy blog and plan for the upcoming legislative session here in Minnesota. Below you will find our child welfare legislative roundup for the month of September so far. For the remainder of September we will be highlighting the federal Child and Family Services Improvement and Innovation...
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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 foster care-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 a foster care-related bill that is not in this list, please let me know! Also, please feel free...
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In light of the Summer Institute in American Indian Child Welfare held this week in Walker, MN, I thought it would be good (and relevant!) to discuss the importance of collaboration between early childhood and child welfare agencies for American Indian children. Since the majority of the speakers during this conference were from the Ojibwe (or Anishinaabe) tribe, what is...
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State Policies That Require or Recommend Child Welfare/Early Childhood Collaboration for Intervention ServicesInteragency Early Childhood Intervention SystemThis system is federally mandated by Parts B and C of the Individuals with Disabilities Education Act. Part B is special education services for children ages 3 to 21, whereas Part C is early intervention services for infants and toddlers birth-2 years of age....
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Minnesota is racing toward the Monday, May 23rd, deadline. Governor Dayton has indicated that he will reject any legislative budget proposals that resolve the deficit using cuts only; Dayton is calling for an approach that includes cuts and increased revenue. See Politics in Minnesota and MPR. Yesterday, the legislators passed to Governor Dayton their final budget proposal, which does not...
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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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On Monday April 18th, the bill known as the Family Reunification Act of 2011(HF 749) had a hearing in the Civil Law Committee. The discussion of the bill was fascinating and contentious, with very different views from people concerned about child well-being. You can listen here. The committee voted to pass the bill and refer to the Judiciary Committee. The...
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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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Social Work Day at the Capitol! Monday April 4th! Social workers have a lot to say about the major Health & Human Service policy and budget decisions at the capitol this session. Are you already planning to be there? Why don't you join in? Details about this important event here. Feeling down about the news coming out of the Capitol...
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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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Below are a few Child Welfare snippets of the HF927 Omnibus Budget Bill, which is being heard this week in the House Health and Human Service Finance Committee. The omnibus bill is enormous (2011_HF927DeleteAll.pdf). House Research did a bill summary that highlights a few areas - a little easier to digest than 350 pages (review the bill summary here). Three...
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There is a lot happening at the Capitol related to our field of Child Welfare! CASCW is keeping tabs on 40 bills that are related to child welfare, and watching 16 of these with a close eye. The majority of these bills have seen no action since they were introduced, when things start moving we'll update you. The focus now...
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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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The Senate passed HF 130, the budget proposal cutting $900 million in state spending. This was a fast turnaround following the House passage of the bill late on 2/9. The bill was sent to the Governor, and he vetoed the bill within a couple hours of receiving it. You can read coverage here, here and here. And the Governor's veto...
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