The National Council of Juvenile and Family Court Judges recently passed resolutions and policy statements on how to improve the lives of youth and families involved with juvenile or family courts. The resolutions address the needs of homeless youth and families, support a developmental approach to juvenile probation, and recognize the need for independent oversight of youth confinement facilities. The Council also released two bench cards: one with guidance on working with youth regardless of sexual orientation, gender identity, or gender expression, and one on applying principles of adolescent development in delinquency proceedings. In addition, the Council released a guide of principles and practices addressing custody and visitation.

Published in Home Page
Wednesday, 23 August 2017 16:30

Southwest Louisiana Foster Care Coalition

Young adults aging out of foster care have been a large concern not only for our nation, but our community. Some of these individuals will turn eighteen with no connections or resources. As a result, the City of Lake Charles established a committee to help combat this crisis.

The coalition is made up of individuals from various organizations. However, their goal is the same. The goal is to help these young adults by providing them with the tools and guidance to reach their full potential. This document was created by the AmeriCorps Vista members to work on the daily operations to achieve this goal. These young adults are our future. Therefore, it is our responsibility to do all we can to help them.

This website has regional and state resources that are available for foster youth and families.

http://www.swlafostercare.com/

 

Published in Youth

The growing awareness of human trafficking in the United States and abroad requires government and human services agencies to reevaluate old policies and develop new ones for identifying and serving victims. Due to their potentially unstable living situations, physical distance from friends and family, traumatic experiences, and emotional vulnerability, children involved with child welfare are at risk for being targeted by traffickers who are actively seeking children1 to exploit. Therefore, it is imperative that child welfare agencies be at the forefront of the response to and prevention of human trafficking. Additionally, recent Federal legislation established new requirements for child welfare agencies related to identifying and serving minor victims of human trafficking.

1 For the purposes of this report, the term “children” includes youth. The term “youth” is used when source materials specifically reference that population.

READ THE FULL ARTICLE (in attached file)

Child welfare caseworkers can be an invaluable resource in helping communities respond to the human trafficking of children. Children involved with child welfare are at risk for being targeted by traffickers because of their potentially unstable living situations, physical distance from friends and family, traumatic experiences, and emotional vulnerability. Therefore, it is imperative that child welfare caseworkers be at the forefront of efforts to identify, respond to, and prevent human trafficking. This bulletin explores how caseworkers can identify and support children who have been victimized as well as children that are at greater risk for future victimization. It provides background information about the issue, strategies caseworkers can use to identify and support victims and potential victims, and tools and resources that can assist caseworkers.

READ THE FULL DOCUMENT

Missing Children, State Care, and Child Sex Trafficking: Engaging the Judiciary in Building a Collaborative Response

This technical assistance brief is a publication of the National Council of Juvenile and Family Court Judges and National Center for Missing & Exploited Children®. Special thanks to Melissa Snow, M.A., Child Sex Trafficking Program Specialist, National Center for Missing & Exploited Children, and Mimari Hall, M.A., for developing this technical assistance brief. Additional thanks to Maureen Sheeran, Chief Program Officer, and Sarah Smith, J.D., Senior Staff Attorney of the National Council of Juvenile and Family Court Judges for their thorough review as well as Staca Shehan, Director, Case Analysis Division, and Yiota Souras, Senior Vice President, General Counsel, for the National Center for Missing & Exploited Children.

Reproduction of this publication for noncommercial education and information purposes is encouraged. Reproduction of any part of this publication must include the copyright notice and attribution:
Missing Children, State Care, and Child Sex Trafficking: Engaging the Judiciary in Building a Collaborative Response. Technical assistance brief. National Center for Missing & Exploited Children, Alexandria, Virginia, and National Council of Juvenile and Family Court Judges, Reno, Nevada, 2015. Copyright © 2015 National Center for Missing & Exploited Children and National Council of Juvenile and Family Court Judges. All rights reserved.

Published in Judges

New Study Ranks States on How Well They Help Homeless Students. Where Does Your State Rank?

74 - June 25, 2017

Homeless students have long been considered an invisible population in American education policy discussions, but the new federal education law puts a renewed emphasis on identifying and serving them. In recent years, some states have focused on success for displaced youth. However, huge disparities still exist across the country, according to a new report by the Institute for Children, Poverty and Homelessness.

Also: Out of the Shadows: A State-by-State Ranking of Accountability for Homeless Students: http://www.icphusa.org/national/shadows-state-state-ranking-accountability-homeless-students/

https://www.the74million.org/article/new-study-ranks-states-on-how-well-they-help-homeless-students-where-does-your-state-rank

Published in Children's Justice Act
Wednesday, 14 June 2017 09:42

ABA Homeless Youth Legal Network

Update on the ABA Homeless Youth Legal Network

The Network was formed to provide information and foster collaboration in order to help attorneys and other advocates address existing gaps in legal services, and to improve outcomes for homeless youth and young adults. In just the past few months, the Network has:

  • Launched a website, www.ambar.org/HYLN, which contains additional information about the Network, and will be a repository for resources related to meeting homeless youth’s legal needs.
  • Surveyed over 300 individuals/groups about the legal needs of youth in their community (if you have not yet participated, please consider completing our survey at http://bit.ly/2mMGYl9).
  • Launched a listserv for attorneys and other advocates for homeless youth with over 250 members (to join, please e-mail This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.).
  • Selected 12 Model Programs providing legal services to youth across the country (learn more at www.ambar.org/HYLN).
  • Began providing training and technical assistance to legal services providers and homelessness programs (to request free T/TA please e-mail This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.). 

 

Published in Children's Justice Act

A Guide for Child Protective Services Staff - Protecting Children with Disabilities from Abuse and Neglect

Authors

  • Scott J. Modell, Ph.D., Deputy Commissioner, Department of Children’s Services, State of Tennessee
  • Marcie Davis, M.S., Director, Underserved Populations, 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
  • Irma Buchanan, M.S.S.W., Director of Investigations, Office of Child Safety, Department of Children’s Services, State of Tennessee

In 2011, the average annual rate of violent victimization for children with disabilities was more than twice the rate among children without disabilities. Serious violent victimization for children with disabilities was more than three times than that for children without disabilities (Truman & Planty, 2012). In the U.S., victimization is increasing for individuals with disabilities. Average annual rates from 2009-2011 tell a story. Children with intellectual disabilities had the highest rate of violent victimization from 2009 to 2011.

Among children with intellectual disabilities, the average annual rate of serious violent victimization doubled from 2009 to 2011. The average annual rate of serious violent victimization against individuals with self-care disabilities more than tripled from 2009 to 2011. The average annual rate of serious violent victimization against individuals with multiple disability types was double compared to individuals with one disability type (a net result of four times the victimization than persons without disabilities) (Harrell, 2011; Harrell, 2012). Data meta-analysis (Spencer et al., 2005; Sullivan
& Knutson, 2000) indicates that children with intellectual disabilities are:

  • 2.9 - 3.7 times as likely to have been neglected
  • 3.4 - 3.8 times as likely to be emotionally abused
  • 3.8 - 5.3 times as likely to be physically abused
  • 4.0 - 6.4 times as likely to be sexually abused

Almost fifty percent of people with developmental disabilities who are victims of sexual abuse will experience 10 or more abusive incidents (Valenti-Hein & Schwartz, 1995). According to a study involving the sexual abuse of persons with disabilities, almost eighty percent were sexually assaulted on more than one occasion and fifty percent of those experienced more than 10 victimizations (Sobsey, & Doe, 1991). People with disabilities are more likely to experience severe abuse over longer durations with multiple incidences and multiple abusers (Schaller & Fieberg, 1998; Young et al.,
1997). 

Child abuse normally occurs in the framework of a relationship between a child and an adult, or when the adult is a caregiver. Abuse or neglect is more likely to occur if the child and the caregiver exhibit certain risk factors. If there is a lack of protective factors to intervene with the risk factors present in their lives, then that family is at a greater risk of child abuse.

Read the full document. Click on the attached file.

Protecting Children with Disabilities from Sexual Assault - A Parent's Guide

Written by
Marcie Davis and Scott J. Modell, Ph.D.
Published by
New Mexico Coalition of Sexual Assault Programs Inc.

Individuals with disabilities experience victimization of violent crimes at greater rates than those without disabilities. Sorensen (2002) reported that major crimes against people with disabilities are underreported when compared to the general population and estimated that individuals with disabilities are over four times more likely to be victims of crime than are people without disabilities. The risk of being a victim of crime, especially a victim of sexual assault, is 4 to 10 times higher for someone with a disability. Research studies (Powers, 2004; Nosek, 2001; Sobsey, 1994; Petersilia, 1998; Waxman, 1991) consistently report that there is a very high rate of sexual violence against people with physical and cognitive disabilities, as well as, those with significant speech/communication disabilities.


Furthermore, the risk of sexual violence appears to increase with the degree of disability (Sobsey & Varnhagen, 1988). Compounding the physical and mental trauma of violence, crime victims with disabilities are less likely to seek medical attention and report the victimization to law enforcement due to limited access to the criminal justice system.

 

Read the full document - click on the attached file. 

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. 

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