Online Resources for State Child Welfare Law and Policy
Source: Child Welfare Information Gateway
This publication provides web addresses for State statutes that are accessible online and lists the parts of the code for each State and territory that contains the laws addressing child protection, adoption, child welfare, legal guardianship, and services for youth. It also provides web addresses for States’ regulation and policy sites, State court rules, Tribal codes, and judicial resources. Information for each State and territory can be accessed on the State Statutes Search page.
Preparing Children and Youth for Adoption or Other Family Permanency
Source: Child Welfare Information Gateway
This bulletin discusses services for children and youth in foster care to address their readiness and preparation for adoption and other permanent relationships. It focuses on ways that child welfare workers and other adults can help to prepare those children and youth whose goal is adoption; however, much of the information on preparation is also applicable to children and youth with other permanency goals. The bulletin examines what has previously been considered adequate preparation as well as current practices and those in development to more effectively ensure that children and youth are better prepared for permanent family relationships, including both legal and relational permanency (permanent relationships with caring adults).
HUD Reports Continued Decline in U.S. Homelessness Since 2010
Source: U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development
The U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD) today released its latest national estimate of homelessness in the U.S., noting reductions in every major category or subpopulation since 2010, the year the federal government established “Opening Doors,” a strategic plan to end homelessness. HUD’s 2013 Annual Homeless Assessment Report to Congress finds significant and measureable progress to reduce the scale of long-term or ‘chronic’ homelessness as well as homelessness experienced by Veterans and families.
HUD’s annual ‘point-in-time’ estimates measure the scope of homelessness on a single night in January of each year. Based on data reported by more than 3,000 cities and counties, last January’s one-night estimate reveals a 24 percent drop in homelessness among Veterans and a 16 percent reduction among individuals experiencing long-term or chronic homelessness since 2010. HUD’s estimate also found the largest decline in the number of persons in families experiencing homelessness since the Department began measuring homelessness in a standard manner in 2005.
Court Jurisdiction and Venue for Adoption Petitions
Source: Child Welfare Information Gateway
This factsheet reviews State statutes designating the appropriate jurisdiction and venue for adoption proceedings. Jurisdiction refers to the type of court that has the authority to hear adoption cases; venue refers to the geographic location of the court. Summaries of laws for all States and U.S. territories are included.
Census Bureau Report Shows More than $14 Billion in Payments to Custodial Parents Not Received
Source: U.S. Census Bureau
A new U.S. Census Bureau report released today shows that while more contact with noncustodial parents increases the likelihood of receiving the full amount of child support payments due, just 62.3 percent of the $37.9 billion owed was actually paid to the nation’s 14.4 million custodial parents in 2011.
Custodial Mothers and Fathers and Their Child Support: 2011 is a Current Population Survey report focusing on child support income received from noncustodial parents, including additional noncash assistance and health insurance.
The full amount was received in 49.1 percent of cases where the child had contact with their noncustodial parent. In contrast, the custodial parent received the full amount of child support in only 30.7 percent of cases where the child did not have contact with the noncustodial parent.
Custodial parents had custody of 23.4 million children under age 21 while the other parent lived somewhere else. Most custodial parents (81.7 percent) were mothers.
Post Disaster Reunification of Children – A Nationwide Approach
Source: Federal Emergency Management Agency
This document reflects our Nation’s first attempt to establish a holistic and fundamental baseline for reunifying children separated as a result of a disaster and aims to assist local, state, tribal, territorial, and insular area governments and those responsible for the temporary care of children, such as educational, child care, medical, juvenile justice, and recreational facilities, in enhancing the reunification elements of existent emergency preparedness plans and/or conducting new all-hazards reunification planning.
On the Homefront: Assessing the Well-being of Canada’s Military Families in the New Millennium
Source: National Defence and Canadian Forces Ombudsman
Canadian military families have changed.
Canadian military families have changed, just as Canadian families generally have changed. Today’s CF family is patently different than that of previous generations – changes that in many ways reflect shifting Canadian societal norms and expectations. Increasingly, traditional family structures have given way to more complex and transitional arrangements.
Defining the modern family has become increasingly complex, and there is little consensus on a single characterization. This systemic review found that DND/CF does not have a single definition of ‘family,’ but rather uses multiple definitions depending on the policy, program or office.
Canadian military families are similar to civilian Canadian families, but differ in several distinctive ways.
Three characteristics shape the CF lifestyle for both serving members and their families. These impact the vast majority of serving members over major portions of their careers and are central to military life.
Military families are required to geographically relocate on a recurring basis. These relocations occur at the discretion of the CF in response to its organizational and operational needs. The CF decides when a family will be posted, where it will be posted to, and the length of time it will spend there.
Most CF members relocate repeatedly throughout their military service to locations and during timeframes over which they have little input.
As with postings from one region to another, CF members are required to be away from their families frequently throughout much of their careers. These separations can last from a single day to up to 15 months at a time. Some CF members are away more often than others, though almost none are never away. Separation is an integral part of military life.
The notion of risk, including the possibility of permanent injury, illness or even death, is accepted as a central tenet of the profession of arms. Contrary to popular belief, this risk is not limited to far-flung missions. Preparing for combat operations requires intensive, realistic simulation, employed in all types of environments, conditions and scenarios, pushing individuals to their physical and mental limits. This can be a perilous combination, and training injuries and deaths do occur despite the many precautions and safety measures put in place.
In isolation, none of these three characteristics is unique to CF members and their families. When combined, the distinctiveness of the military career becomes more obvious. Few occupations or professions expose the overwhelming majority of its people to recurring geographic relocation, relentless separation and elevated levels of risk as a matter of course throughout much of their careers.
Gun Violence Trends in Movies (PDF)
Many scientific studies have shown that the mere presence of guns can increase aggression, an effect dubbed the “weapons effect.” The current research examines a potential source of the weapons effect: guns depicted in top-selling films.
Trained coders identified the presence of violence in each 5-minute film segment for one-half of the top 30 films since 1950 and the presence of guns in violent segments since 1985, the first full year the PG-13 rating (age 13+) was used. PG-13–rated films are among the top-selling films and are especially attractive to youth.
Results found that violence in films has more than doubled since 1950, and gun violence in PG-13–rated films has more than tripled since 1985. When the PG-13 rating was introduced, these films contained about as much gun violence as G (general audiences) and PG (parental guidance suggested for young children) films. Since 2009, PG-13–rated films have contained as much or more violence as R-rated films (age 17+) films.
Even if youth do not use guns, these findings suggest that they are exposed to increasing gun violence in top-selling films. By including guns in violent scenes, film producers may be strengthening the weapons effect and providing youth with scripts for using guns. These findings are concerning because many scientific studies have shown that violent films can increase aggression. Violent films are also now easily accessible to youth (eg, on the Internet and cable). This research suggests that the presence of weapons in films might amplify the effects of violent films on aggression.
Male Survivors of Sexual Abuse and Assault (PDF)
Source: Department of Justice (CA)
Over the past three decades, the Canadian criminal law on sexual assault and other sexual offences has changed quite significantly through both the courts and parliament. It is now recognized that males, both as children and as adults, can be victims and survivors of sexual abuse and sexual assault. The majority of victims of sexual assault are female and there is a significant body of research from many disciplines examining the criminal and civil justice system responses, impacts, treatment, etc. The body of research on male victims is much more limited likely due to the smaller numbers and challenges recruiting representative samples. This research study examines the experiences of male survivors of both child sexual abuse (CSA) and adult sexual assault (ASA).
This report summarizes research conducted primarily over the past 10 years on how families’ involvement in children’s learning and development through activities at home and at school affects the literacy, mathematics, and social-emotional skills of children ages 3 to 8. A total of 95 studies of family involvement are reviewed. These include both descriptive, nonintervention studies of the actions families take at home and at school and intervention studies of practices that guide families to conduct activities that strengthen young children’s literacy and math learning.
State Adoption Fact Sheets
Source: North American Council on Adoptable Children
Fosteringconnections.org and NACAC produced the following adoption fact sheets to help inform adoption community members and adoption advocates. The fact sheets, derived mostly from 2010 AFCARS data, have information about the number of waiting children, the length of time children spend in care, the race of waiting and adopted children, types of exits from foster care, Title IV-E payments, and more.