The Family First Prevention Services Act of 2018 provides States and Tribes opportunities to use federal funding to support children and families and prevent foster care placements. The Act focuses on family engagement and evidence-based practices, and requires judicial oversight of the placement and review of children in residential treatment programs to ensure that children are in the least restrictive placement that meets their needs consistent with their permanency plan.

Please click the attachment link to read the full article.

Fall 2018 - National Council of Juvenile and Family Court Judges.

Published in Children's Justice Act

"Earlier this summer the Children’s Bureau convened teams of up to ten individuals from every state, D.C., Puerto Rico, and the U.S. Virgin Islands to chart a new course for child welfare in the United States: strengthening families through primary prevention of child maltreatment and family disruption. The teams included representatives from the state child welfare agency, the legal and judicial community, and prevention partners. The main purpose of the meeting was to discuss and begin planning what child welfare system partners can do together to support primary prevention—to work upstream to address the root causes that make foster care necessary in the first place."

The full document is attached so that you can review the full article by Commissioner Jerry Milner and David Kelly.

Fall 2018 - National Council of Juvenile and Family Court Judges

Published in Judges

Introduction

The relationship with a parent or primary caregiver is critical to a child’s sense of self, safety, and trust. However, many children experience the loss of a caregiver, either permanently due to death, or for varying amounts of time due to other circumstances. Children may develop posttraumatic responses when separated from their caregiver. The following provides information and suggestions for helping children who experience traumatic separation from a caregiver.

Access the full fact sheet

Children with Traumatic Separation: Information for Professionals

The National Child Traumatic Stress Network

www.NCTSN.org

EXECUTIVE SUMMARY

Over 45 million children in the United States are affected by violence, crime, abuse, or psychological trauma each year, and many of them will become involved in the juvenile justice system. The majority of youth involved with the justice system (70-90%) have been exposed to trauma. The trauma experienced by justice-involved youth is often in multiple forms including, but not limited to, physical or sexual abuse, neglect, family and/or community violence, sex trafficking or commercial sexual exploitation, or loss of loved ones. Childhood exposure to violence and other traumatic events is a risk factor for arrest in adolescence, and youth with prior trauma exposure and related symptoms experience worse legal outcomes compared to youth without such a history.

Further, many youth experience additional stresses after entering the justice system apart from the inherent stress of the court interaction, including exposure to violence in detention/correctional facilities; infliction of harsh or invasive security practices such as shackling and other forms of physical restraint, punitive isolation, and strip searches; and separation from family, friends, and community. Collectively, these additional stressors are sometimes referred to as system-induced trauma. Some juvenile justice-involved youth may also be dually-involved with the child welfare system (i.e., dual system youth). It is important to keep in mind how involvement in both systems may affect youth, psychologically and legally.

This resource is intended to provide juvenile defense attorneys with an increased understanding of what trauma-informed legal advocacy entails, how trauma impacts child development, the attorney-client relationship, family and caregivers, and attorneys themselves. Additionally, this resource addresses screening and assessment, information sharing, transitions and placement decisions, and effective treatments for traumatic stress. Within each topic area, strategies for integrating this knowledge into legal advocacy (“Practice Tips”) are offered. Finally, this resource is intended to help you understand your role as the gatekeeper of trauma-based information for your client and support judiciously choosing how and when to use this information to best advocate for your client. Trauma-informed legal practice can strengthen legal advocacy, improve attorney-client relationships, and ultimately improve outcomes for youth. Additionally, awareness of secondary traumatic stress can improve prevention, identification, and self-care among legal professionals.

Access the full bulletin

Published in Attorneys

The Family First Prevention Services Act (FFPSA) became law in February 2018. FFPSA is a landmark child welfare law with the potential to establish significant changes in how the child welfare system is funded and operates across the country. Provisions especially relevant to the legal community are:

Click here for the ABA chart.

Published in Law and Best Practices

USA Today - May 14, 2019

Black girls don't misbehave more than white girls yet in every state across the country they are more likely to be disciplined in school and often receive harsher penalties for the same infractions, experts and researchers have found. They are "dress coded" more frequently than white peers and often viewed as hypersexualized and "adultified" at an early age. Nationally, they are nearly six times more likely to get out-of-school suspension than white counterparts and more likely to be suspended multiple times than any other gender or race of student, according to research by the African American Policy Forum and Columbia Law School's Center for Intersectionality and Social Policy Studies. That disproportionality contributes to a cycle documented by the federal Office of Juvenile Justice and Delinquency Prevention in which black girls are three times more likely to be referred to juvenile court than white girls and 20 percent more likely to be detained.

Report: Girlhood Interrupted: The Erasure of Black Girls' Childhood: https://www.law.georgetown.edu/poverty-inequality-center/wp-content/uploads/sites/14/2017/08/girlhood-interrupted.pdf

https://www.usatoday.com/in-depth/news/2019/05/14/black-girls-school-discipline-racism-disparities-pushout-solutions/1121061001/

Louisiana Department of Children and Family Services - May 15, 2019   The Louisiana Department of Children and Family Services (DCFS) is launching a new recruitment campaign for foster parents for teens. The campaign, launching amid National Foster Care Month, is part of the Department's ongoing commitment to improve outcomes for youth in foster care by increasing permanency and connections before they transition to adulthood. Link to news article.

 

Published in Home Page

Chronicle of Social Change - April 19, 2019

"We work in a field in which those who only know it vicariously believe we are on the wrong side," said one keynote speaker, Martin Guggenheim, a professor of law at New York University. "We work closely with parents who lose the most precious thing in the world (their children} and they lose it to a regime in which the people taking that away from them celebrate their victory.

https://chronicleofsocialchange.org/uncategorized/aba-parent-conference-child-welfare/34610

Published in Parents' Attorneys

CNN - April 19, 2019

Researchers used publicly available data from the National Hospital Ambulatory Medical Care Survey, administered by the US Centers for Disease Control and Prevention every year. From the 300 emergency rooms sampled, the researchers tracked the number of children between 5 and 18 who received a diagnosis of suicidal ideation or suicide attempts each year.

https://chicagocrusader.com/number-of-children-going-to-er-with-suicidal-thoughts-attempts-doubles-study-finds/

New Foster Parents Gain Experience with Incremental Challenges

Policy & Practice - April 01, 2019

The new foster parents are ready for their first foster children. Seemingly, there should be no hesitation. But are these brand new foster parents really ready for any foster child? From a social work and legal perspective, would it be acceptable to put a young sibling group into a foster home if the parents have little or no parenting experience? There is a giant learning curve from licensed foster parent to successful foster parent and it is the obligation of the licensor and case managers to ensure that new foster parents are not overloaded beyond their capabilities.

http://yeshiva.imodules.com/s/1739/images/gid10/editor_documents/new_foster_parents_gain_experience_with_incremental_challenges.pdf?sessionid=c0111e53-2cd9-4e52-952f-371237a9b6c1&cc=1

 

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