Advocates for children and parents say that with an ever-growing backlog of cases, they’re concerned that the wait might be long, and that delays might keep families from reunifying not just for months but for years.
When facing the possible loss of their children, New York state parents have the right to a lawyer only when a case moves to court. Even then some counties fail to provide them. And many key decisions are made before a case ever gets to a judge.
The U.S. Senate will soon consider a bill that would give states unprecedented flexibility to spend money on preventive services rather than foster care, signaling a sea-change in attitudes about child-welfare policy.
Family finances, child health and mother-child attachment are affected when a mother lacks access to paid maternity leave, according to the new research.
In neighborhoods that see the most child-welfare investigations, children hide their problems, families refuse to ask for help and chances to head off serious neglect or abuse are missed. ACS is trying to reduce the suspicion.
For years, child welfare officials have looked to better training and deeper resources to reduce mistakes in abuse and neglect investigations. But given the complexity of many cases, experts say, failure may always be part of the picture.
In the wake of two fatalities in early ’14, the de Blasio administration called for better reporting of abuse and neglect. But there is substantial doubt that child welfare investigations can root out real threats to kids’ safety.
There’s growing interest in using supportive housing to help families whose children might otherwise end up in the foster-care system.
Burnout among child welfare workers hurts kids in foster care. In 2011, an effort was launched to give New York City caseworkers the support they need to stay on the job.
Child protection experts say false, malicious reports of abuse are not uncommon. Efforts to address the problem face complex challenges.