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National News

These are the most recent national news articles:

Study Finds New Guidelines Help Judges Better Serve Abused and Neglected Children and Their Families

Tuesday, July 26th 2011

Children who are removed from their parents for abuse or neglect allegations experience better outcomes when judges follow a set of decision-making guidelines during the initial removal hearing, according to a study released today by the National Council of Juvenile and Family Court Judges (NCJFCJ). Development of a benchcard containing the guidelines grew out of a national NCJFCJ initiative, Courts Catalyzing Change: Achieving Equity and Fairness in Foster Care (CCC). In partnership with Casey Family Programs and the U.S. Department of Justice Office of Juvenile Justice and Delinquency Prevention, NCJFCJ member judges throughout the country are working to reduce the overrepresentation of children of color in the foster care system along with the disparate outcomes they and their families experience.

Researchers tracked more than 500 children through the court system in three cities and found that 45% more children were able to return home to their parents or live with extended family members when judges used the benchcard during their hearings.

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Court may not make ruling on child abuse case

Tuesday, March 1st 2011

The Supreme Court indicated Tuesday that it may not make a decision about whether child social workers need warrants to talk to potential victims of sex abuse at school.

Justices said the young girl whose mother sued over her seizure at school is no longer a child and therefore the case is moot. During the oral arguments, she was referred to as S.G.

“There is no case or controversy between S.G. and the petitioners,” said her lawyer, Carolyn Kubitschek.

“Then why are you here?” Chief Justice John Roberts said.

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Pilot program offers respite option for area foster families

Tuesday, January 4th 2011

Kris and David Nelson enjoy being parents. So much so that after their two daughters grew up, the couple opened their home to foster children.

“We love family and feel this is something we can offer to others who need a caring family,” said David Nelson, 62, a pastor.

No matter who the child is or how long they stay, the Nelsons want to show that all are loved and all are welcome. Hugs and encouraging words are given freely.

The Nelsons make time for creative activities like the New Year’s “super sandwich” tradition, where fixings are piled high, Dagwood style.

David and Kris Nelson at the moment care for six children — two adopted, four foster — between 2 and 15 years old, plus former foster kids who come back to visit.

Now and then, the Nelsons, like other parents, need time to regroup and recharge, according to the couple’s daughter, Andrea Nelson, 27, of Waterloo. Likewise, most kids enjoy some time away from their parents with a fun baby-sitter, she said.

But until last year, child care proved complicated for the Nelsons and remains a challenge for many of Iowa’s 3,000 licensed foster families, according to Nancy Magnall of the Iowa Foster and Adoptive Parent Association.

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Number of kids in foster care down 20 percent in past decade

Wednesday, September 1st 2010

NEW YORK - The number of U.S. children in foster care has dropped 8 percent in just one year, and more than 20 percent in the past decade, according to new federal figures underscoring the impact of widespread reforms.

The drop, hailed by child-welfare advocates, is due largely to a shift in the policies and practices of state and county child welfare agencies. Many have been shortening stays in foster care, speeding up adoptions and expanding preventive support for troubled families so more children avoid being removed from their homes in the first place.

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Child abuse, neglect in WV: Stats don’t tell whole story

Wednesday, July 14th 2010

The number of child abuse and neglect cases nationwide has been decreasing and that’s also the case in West Virginia. While victims’ advocates say this provides some hope, the problem is still prolific.
In West Virginia, child abuse cases were increasing until four years ago.

“There is just no way of denying that child abuse is decreasing, which is great and means a lot of things that we have done to try to prevent child abuse and intervene in child abuse has been making a difference and so that is a reason for hope,? said Emily Chittenden, state coordinator for the West Virginia Child Advocacy Network.

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