News & Notes

I haven’t done a news and notes in a while, but I’ve read so many good child welfare related things lately that I wanted to share them. Here we go.


Let’s start with Florida’s flawed Baker Act rips thousands of kids from school. It looks at how schools increasingly rely on the Baker Act and police involvement to manage school discipline, and the negative impact that has on kids.

On the flip side, Violent kids take over schools, and they have the law on their side. I had a hard time with this one because it gets a lot right about the difficulties of working with disability and education law in school. But it also seemed to conflate mental health disorders and violence in ways that suggested that disabled kids should maybe go back to being segregated for the benefit of other kids who “have to” be in school with them. I caught a radio interview with the reporters today and someone threw around “food additives” as being a source of mental health disorders and violence a little too casually for me.

What happens when Florida child abuse pediatricians get it wrong? Kids go to foster care and all kinds of bad things happen. Our current medical forensic investigation system appoints one doctor over entire areas. That might be too much power for one person to wield.

Opinion pieces

How Growing Up In Foster Care Gave Me The Tools To Dismantle A Punitive System That Profits From Black Children. And I quote: “Time’s up!” It’s time for the business that has become child welfare to shut its doors permanently. While giving us our flowers for overcoming the obstacles we faced, please, let’s acknowledge who caused the real trauma. Spoiler alert: it was our government. More than 50% of the states have been sued for the failure of their child welfare system, and this is having detrimental effects on Black families.

Move the money, not the kids. If you read this and agree, what I’m hearing is that you don’t like privatization. Just letting you know there’s a word for it.


Examining legal representation for foster youth: Perspectives of foster parents. Foster parents think legal representation of foster kids is important, but they think attorneys don’t do a sufficient job communicating with their child clients.

New Book: Getting By: Economic Rights and Legal Protections for People with Low Income. Ok, I haven’t actually read this, but I plan to read this.

The Effect of CASA on Child Welfare Permanency Outcomes. The “largest and most rigorous study to date” on CASA and permanency and it’s not what you want to see. Kids with CASAs had lower odds of permanency in general, lower odds of reunification, higher odds of adoption, and lower odds of permanent guardianship than kids with no CASA.

Decision-making in foster care: A child-centered approach to reducing toxic stress in foster children. How to identify and correct when adult considerations trump children’s attachments in foster care decision-making.

LGBTQ Youth in Unstable Housing and Foster Care. LGBTQ tourh have worse outcomes than other LGBTQ youth in stable homes and worse outcomes than non-LGBTQ youth in foster care (so yikes).

Are sexual minority youth overrepresented in foster care, child welfare, and out-of-home placement? Findings from nationally representative data. Yes.

Foster care placement instability: A meta-analytic review. I love this one because it reminds us that placement instability is not just the kids’ fault: behavior problems, non-relative care, and poor quality foster parenting are the big predictors of instability.

The Impact of Kinship Networks on Foster Care Children’s Outcomes. Highly involved kin and fictive kin make for better outcomes. So we should support their involvement whenever we can.

The romantic relationships of those who have experienced adoption or foster care: A meta-analysis. Turns out they’re no worse than anyone else at romantic relationships.

The Peer Relationships of Those Who Have Experienced Adoption or Foster Care: A Meta‐Analysis. But turns out they’re a little worse at relationships with peers.

Elsewhere & Other Things

Out of State, Out of Mind. Oregon has a scandal of sending too many high-needs kids out of state. Someone should look into that for Florida.

The federal government has one main law to prevent child abuse. No state follows all of it. With predictably consequences.

Happy weekend reading!


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