Violence Against Children with Disabilities: What Foster Parents Need to Know

Authors

  • Scott J. Modell, Ph.D., Deputy Commissioner, Department of Children’s Services, State of Tennessee
  • Marcie Davis, M.S., Project Director, New Mexico Coalition of Sexual Assault Programs, Inc.
  • Carla Aaron, M.S.S.W., Executive Director, Office of Child Safety, Department of Children’s Services, State of Tennessee
  • Amy Coble, M.S., Director of Investigations, Office of Child Safety, Department of Children’s Services, State of Tennessee

Children with disabilities are often targeted for abuse. The risk of abuse is even greater for children with disabilities in foster care. As a foster parent of a child with a disability, this guide is designed to help you have the information necessary to keep your child safe.
While child abuse, neglect, exploitation and sexual assault can affect any child, children with disabilities are at greater risk of maltreatment than children without disabilities. Child maltreatment is generally defined using the Federal Child Abuse Prevention and Treatment Act (CAPTA): “The term ‘child abuse and neglect’ means, at a minimum, any recent act or failure to act on the part of a parent or caretaker, which results in death, serious physical or emotional harm, sexual abuse or exploitation, or an act or failure to act which presents an imminent risk of serious harm” (42 U.S.C.A. §5106g). Each State provides definitions of child maltreatment in law, most commonly in four categories: physical abuse, sexual abuse, neglect, and emotional maltreatment.

To read the full content, click on the attached file. 

A new article has been released by Robyn M. Powell, Esq. on protecting rights of parents with disabilities. The title is: Safeguarding the Rights of Parents with Intellectual Disabilities in Child Welfare Cases: The Convergence of Social Science and Law. It is available at http://www.cunylawreview.org/wp-content/uploads/2017/03/05-Powell.pdf.

Published in Parents' Attorneys
Tuesday, 24 January 2017 10:33

Child Maltreatment 2015

Based on State-level data from the National Child Abuse and Neglect Data System (NCANDS), Child Maltreatment 2015 presents an aggregate view of child abuse and neglect in the United States. This resource includes information on the reports made to child protective services (CPS), the children involved in CPS cases, child fatalities, perpetrators of child abuse and neglect, and available services.

 Highlights from Child Maltreatment 2015 include the following:

  • Neglect was the most common type of child maltreatment in 2015, which 75.3 percent of victims experienced.
  • For States able to report on the alcohol abuse caregiver risk factor, 10.3 percent of victims and 5.5 percent of nonvictims were reported with this caregiver risk factor. For reporting States, 25.4 percent of victims and 8.1 percent of nonvictims were reported with the drug abuse caregiver risk factor.
  • For 2015, an estimated 1,670 children died of abuse and neglect at a rate of 2.25 deaths per 100,000.

The U.S. Department of Health and Human Services' Administration for Children and Families (ACF) released this report as the 26th in a series designed to collect and analyze State child abuse and neglect statistics. The Child Maltreatment series is used to assess the efficacy of Federal programs and inform researches, practitioners, and advocates around the world.

The full Child Maltreatment 2015 report is available to view and download on the Children's Bureau website, along with access to archived Child Maltreatment reports 1995–2014.

 Published January 2017.

 

Published in Data & Technology

The Legal Center for Foster Care and Education (http://www.fostercareandeducation.org) would like to share important news regarding the issuance of final federal regulations by the U.S. Department of Education implementing the Every Student Succeeds Act (ESSA). This link will guide you to the regulations released on November 28, 2016: http://www2.ed.gov/policy/elsec/leg/essa/essaaccountstplans1129.pdf.

There are several key provisions in these regulations important to children in foster care, but the language addressing transportation is most timely given impending deadlines.  The regulations clarify the obligation of education and child welfare agencies to provide transportation during disputes over payment of any "additional costs" of transportation to maintain children's school stability.  Specifically, the regulations reinforce the responsibility of the State Education Agencies (SEAs) to:

  • Ensure that children in foster care promptly receive transportation, as necessary, to and from their schools of origin when in the children's best interest.
  • Ensure that LEAs that receive funding under Title I collaborate with child welfare agencies to develop and implement clear written transportation procedures that describe how school stability will be ensured in the event of a dispute over which agency or agencies will pay for any additional costs incurred.
  • Ensure that LEAs' local transportation procedures describe which agency or agencies will initially pay the additional costs so that transportation is provided to children in foster care during the pendency of any funding disputes.

These regulations send a clear message that providing transportation to achieve school stability for children in foster care is of paramount importance and that SEAs as well as LEAs, in collaboration with local child welfare agencies, have a clear duty to ensure that transportation is promptly provided.  Neither ESSA nor this regulation specifically allocate the responsibility to fund additional costs to either LEAs or local child welfare agencies.  Rather, this new regulation clarifies that state and local educational agencies have bottom line responsibility for developing and implementing procedures that guarantee school stability transportation for all children in foster care when disputes arise - and during the pendency of disputes - over which agency or agencies will fund any additional costs incurred.

These regulations go into effect January 30, 2017. However, it is important to remember that the provisions in ESSA relating to school stability, prompt school enrollment, and transportation to ensure school stability for children in foster care go into effect on December 10, 2016. State and local child welfare and education agencies must immediately begin or continue conversations about their shared responsibility to support the school stability and the success of students in foster care.  In order to ensure consistency across all districts within a state, the U.S. Department of Education has encouraged SEAs to issue uniform statewide guidance on how disputes should be resolved regarding which agency or agencies will fund transportation (including funding for transportation pending those disputes) and to establish a common dispute resolution process at the state level.

We look forward to continuing to support this work in your state, and encourage you to please contact us with questions or updates.

Kristin Kelly, Esq.

American Bar Association

Center on Children and the Law

1050 Connecticut Avenue NW, 4th Floor

Washington, DC 20036

(202) 662-1733

This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.<mailto:This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.

Tuesday, 22 November 2016 09:40

Kids Can Thrive with Gay Parents

Kids Can Thrive with Gay Parents

Psychology Today - November 21, 2016

None of the outcome measures showed any difference between families headed by gay versus straight parents. Children's behavior problems were no different between these groups, whether behavior was rated by parents or teachers. Parental stress and family functioning were no different between these groups. In sum, there was no evidence whatsoever to suggest that children generally fared better or worse depending on the sexual orientation of their parents.

https://www.psychologytoday.com/blog/adopting-reason/201611/kids-can-thrive-gay-parents

Wednesday, 16 November 2016 12:33

Definitions of Human Trafficking

Definitions of Human Trafficking
This factsheet presents State criminal laws that define human trafficking, including involuntary servitude, forced labor and services, and sex trafficking of minors. Federal definitions of human trafficking and the inclusion of trafficking in civil child abuse definitions also are discussed. Summaries of laws for all States and U.S. territories are included.
https://www.childwelfare.gov/topics/systemwide/laws-policies/statutes/definitions-trafficking/

Compiled by Child Welfare Information Gateway.

 

Wednesday, 16 November 2016 12:32

Determining the Best Interests of the Child

Determining the Best Interests of the Child
This factsheet discusses State laws that present the factors that courts need to consider when making decisions about a child's appropriate custody and care. Factors to be considered include parental capacity to provide adequate care, sibling and other family relationships, and the child's wishes. The factsheet also addresses the definition of best interests and guiding principles of best interest determinations. Summaries of laws for all States and U.S. territories are included.
https://www.childwelfare.gov/topics/systemwide/laws-policies/statutes/best-interest/

Compiled by the Child Welfare Information Gateway.

Wednesday, 16 November 2016 12:30

Understanding Child Welfare and the Courts

Understanding Child Welfare and the Courts
Families involved with the child welfare system must often engage with the judicial system. This factsheet is designed to demystify the legal process and inform families of their rights and responsibilities. It includes frequently asked questions about the different stages of court proceedings, how parents and family members can prepare for court hearings, and who and what to expect in the courtroom and throughout the process.
https://www.childwelfare.gov/pubs/factsheets/cwandcourts/

Compiled by the Child Welfare Information Gateway.

Published in Children's Justice Act

Court Hearings for the Permanent Placement of Children
This factsheet summarizes State laws that mandate the type and frequency of court hearings that must be held to review the status of children placed in out-of-home care. At these hearings, the court reviews the efforts that have been made to address the family issues that necessitated the out-of-home placement as well as efforts to achieve permanency for the child. This document also lists the persons who may attend the hearings and permanency options.
https://www.childwelfare.gov/topics/systemwide/laws-policies/statutes/planning/

Materials compiled by the Child Welfare Information Gateway.

An important new study was released October 17, 2016. It will soon be published in Pediatrics, the official journal of the American Academy of Pediatrics. It's the first national large scale study to compare mental health and physical health of foster kids with the general population, including children in economically disadvantaged families. Not surprisingly, it found kids in foster care are: 

  • Seven times as likely to experience depression
  • Six times as likely to exhibit behavioral problems
  • Five times as likely to feel anxiety
  • Three times as likely to have attention deficit disorder, hearing impairments and vision issues
  • Twice as likely to suffer from learning disabilities, developmental delays, asthma, obesity and speech problems

The study is available online at http://pediatrics.aappublications.org/content/early/2016/10/14/peds.2016-1118

A PDF copy of the report can be accessed here: http://pediatrics.aappublications.org/content/pediatrics/early/2016/10/14/peds.2016-1118.full.pdf

This statement from one of the authors may be particularly of interest:
"This work makes an important contribution to the research community by showing for the first time that foster care children are in considerably worse health than other children. Our findings also present serious implications for pediatricians by suggesting that foster care placement is a risk factor for health problems in childhood."

Information shared by the ABA Center for Children and the Law

Page 3 of 6

Upcoming Events

January

February