Colorado child-protection system reforms promised

Key reforms for Colorado’s child protection system should include better training for “front-line” workers who screen abuse calls, a statewide hotline and data collection that would reveal the workloads and turnover rates of caseworkers, state officials said Tuesday.
Colorado must do a better job tracking data, such as caseworker turnover, that could lead to improved protection of abused and neglected children, said Reggie Bicha, executive director of the Colorado Department of Human Services.
Bicha spoke to dozens of lawmakers, county commissioners, county human services directors and child advocates at a legislative luncheon on child welfare.
A coalition of state lawmakers has vowed to focus this session, which began last week, on finding solutions for the state’s troubled child protection system.
The number of children who are abused and neglected in Colorado each year has hardly budged since 2005, according to data presented by David Sanders, executive vice president of Casey Family Programs.

Written by Jennifer Brown. To read the full article, click here. For more information on family law attoneys, visit our website http://www.jwbrookslaw.com

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Pain-Capable Unborn Child Protection Act: One baby step for humanity

In the wake of the gruesome revelations of the slaying of infants born alive after attempted abortions by Philadelphia abortionist Kermit Gosnell – babies literally butchered to death – the American consciousness has awoken to the reality of the heinous life-ending practice of abortion.
Now, in a significant victory for life, the House of Representatives has passed a bipartisan – let us repeat that, bi-partisan – bill to ban abortions after 20 weeks.
The “Pain-Capable Unborn Child Protection Act,” introduced by Representative Trent Franks (AZ-8) and cosponsored by 184 members of the House, Republicans and Democrats alike, makes it illegal to commit an abortion after the 20th week of pregnancy. And just to clear up one of the fallacies that has been put forward by opponents of the bill, this legislation imposes a restriction on abortionists, not on the expectant mother. In fact, no expectant mother can be prosecuted for seeking or obtaining such a late-term abortion. The bill also contains exceptions for cases of rape, incest, or the life of the mother.

Written by Jordan Sekulow, Matthew Clark. To read the full article, click here. For more information on family law attorneys, visit our website http://www.jwbrookslaw.com

Pain-Capable Unborn Child Protection Act Passes House, 228-196

Even though President Obama threatened to veto this bill hours before it passed the House of Representatives because he considers it to be “an assault on a woman’s right to choose” and “a direct challenge to Roe vs. Wade,” this is nonetheless still very good news for the pro-life community. Politico reports:

The House Tuesday passed a bill that would ban most abortions nationwide after 20 weeks. The most far-reaching abortion legislation in the House in a decade, it was passed 228-196 mostly along party lines.

The vote is largely symbolic: The bill will be dead on arrival in the Senate. And the White House has already threatened to veto the“fetal pain” legislation, which is based on the controversial assertion that a fetus can feel pain at that stage of development.

But Rep. Trent Franks (R-Ariz.), the bill’s sponsor, didn’t find that discouraging. He pointed to the last time Congress passed a bill of this scope, the Partial-Birth Abortion Ban Act of 2003. That bill fell short and faced court battles before it finally became law.

Written by Daniel Doherty. To read the full article, click here. For more information on family law attorneys, visit our website http://www.jwbrookslaw.com

Child Abuse Reporting Rethinking Child Protection

The general public has been bewildered by the magnitude of sex abuse cases and the widespread failure by pillars of the community to notify appropriate authorities. The crime of sexually abusing children is punishable in all jurisdictions. However, what is the duty to report suspected cases by individuals in positions of trust over young people, such as in the church or university sports?

Since the mid-1980s, law enforcement has been investigating allegations of sexual crimes committed by Catholic priests against young boys and girls. These sexual abuse scandals and lawsuits have cost the Church an estimated $2 billion in settlements.1 A 2004 US Conference of Catholic Bishops report found that law enforcement was contacted in only 24% of cases of suspected abuse.2 In other cases, the church hierarchy responded internally or not at all: priests may have been counseled, evaluated, provided treatment, suspended, or limited in their priestly duties.

Written by Susan C. Kim, Lawrence O. Gostin, Thomas B. Cole. To read the full article, click here. For more information on family law attorneys, visit our website http://www.jwbrookslaw.com

Prevention and the Child Protection System

The nation’s child protection system (CPS) has historically focused on preventing maltreatment in high-risk families, whose children have already been maltreated. But, as Jane Waldfogel explains, it has also begun developing prevention procedures for children at lower risk—those who are referred to CPS but whose cases do not meet the criteria for ongoing services.

Preventive services delivered by CPS to high-risk families, says Waldfogel, typically include case management and supervision. The families may also receive one or more other preventive services, including individual and family counseling, respite care, parenting education, housing assistance, substance abuse treatment, child care, and home visits. Researchers generally find little evidence, however, that these services reduce the risk of subsequent maltreatment, although there is some promising evidence on the role of child care. Many families receive few services beyond periodic visits by usually overburdened caseworkers, and the services they do receive are often poor in quality.

Preventive services for lower-risk families often focus on increasing parents’ understanding of the developmental stages of childhood and on improving their child-rearing competencies. The evidence base on the effectiveness of these services remains thin. Most research focuses on home-visiting and parent education programs. Studies of home visiting have provided some promising evidence. Little is as yet known about the effects of parent education.

Written by Jane Waldfogel. To read the full article, click here. For more information on family law attorneys, visit our website http://www.jwbrookslaw.com

Accused of child abuse: A family’s story

It’s a Tuesday like any other. Then, in the afternoon, there’s a knock at the door. The dog starts barking and wakes our 12-week-old baby, Sam. My partner, Keiron, looks out of the upstairs window to see two women at the front door. We assume they are Jehovah’s Witnesses and Keiron leans out, saying he can’t come down. Then everything changes.

The women are police. They work in child protection services. Keiron, Sam and I go downstairs to find out what’s going on. They tell us to sit down and ask Keiron if he knows why they are here. He says no. Then they tell us an allegation about a sex offence made by a child at the nursery where he works.

My stomach turns to concrete. I have no shadow of doubt that this is a horrible mistake. I hold Sam in disbelief, calculating all the ways this is going to mess up our lives.

They take our computer away. I’m self-employed, so even though Sam is very young I am still working. I watch my livelihood vanish through the door and ask the police: “Are there any guarantees that it will come back unharmed?” No, they say, adding that it will be a minimum of four to six weeks until it is returned – assuming that it is clean of pornographic images of children. We’re told that paedophiles look at on-screen images of children before moving on to the real thing, so the computer will indicate Keiron’s guilt or otherwise.

Written by  . To read the full article, click here. For more information on family law attorneys, visit our website http://www.jwbrookslaw.com

Economic Well-Being of US Children Slips

It wasn’t so long ago that David Hutchinson spent a month sleeping under a bridge while his wife and young daughter spent their nights at a domestic violence shelter.

But this wasn’t a case of domestic violence. The couple simply had no choice. There were just no shelters in Phoenix with room for another homeless family, and their top priority was finding a safe place for their daughter.

The family is one of many in the U.S. that have been trying to raise children in the face of joblessness and homelessness. An annual survey released Monday by the Annie E. Casey Foundation shows the number of children living in poverty increased to 23 percent in 2011, after the recession.

The Southwest has been hit particularly hard. New Mexico, for the first time, has slipped to worst in the nation when it comes to child well-being. More than 30 percent of children in the state were living in poverty in 2011 and nearly two-fifths had parents who lacked secure employment, according to this year’s Kids Count survey.

Written by Susan Montoya Bryan. To read the full article, click here. For more information on family law attorneys, visit our website http://www.jwbrookslaw.com