According to the New York Times (Dec. 29, 2011) Roman Catholic bishops in Illinois have closed most of the Catholic Charities offices in the state rather than comply with a new requirement that says they must consider same-sex couples as potential foster care and adoptive parents if they want to receive state money. Catholic Charities is one of the nation’s most extensive social service networks, serving more than 10 million poor adults and children of many faiths across the country.
Josh Kroll of the North American Council on Adoptable Children (NACAC) informed me that the IRS told him the tax credit was non-reportable income and would not be taxed. He added, however, that some states might see the money as a reason to cut back on food stamps and other related programs. He said this would not be a problem if the money were spent for the child's subsistence within a reasonable time.
Research over the past two decades has provided compelling information on brain development in the pre-school years. A newborn’s brain is only about one-fourth the size of an adult’s. By age three, the brain will have grown to almost eighty percent of its adult size. This means that the brain is far more impressionable in early life than in maturity. The brain is activity-dependent, very vulnerable to its environment. Brain pathways are being hard-wired by experience.
The following ad is said to have appeared in a 1914 London newspaper:
"28 Men Wanted for a Hazardous Journey. Low Wages. Return in Doubt"
The ad was placed by Ernest Shackleton to recruit for his epic journey to cross Antarctica. He received over 5000 responses.
An estimated 46,000 undocumented parents with citizen children have been deported over the past few years. Over 5000 of the children left behind are in foster care. These children, many of whom should never have been separated from their parents in the first place, face often insurmountable obstacles to reunifying with their mothers and fathers. Though child welfare departments are required by federal law to reunify children with any parents who are able to provide for the basic safety of their children, detention makes this all but impossible.
According to the Children's Bureau Express, the recently signed Healthy, Hunger-Free Kids Act of 2010 makes it easier for school districts to enroll foster children for free school meals. Regardless of household income and even if they leave foster care during the year. For more information and details on how to take advantage of this option, go to [email protected].
I was in court yesterday when a three-year-old child was taken from his foster adopt mother to be placed with a great-uncle and aunt at the request of the state child welfare department. No evidence was allowed to explain the possible impact on the child. Instead the judge denied the foster mother's request to intervene as a party. The argument was made that foster care is merely temporary.
In reviewing the Indiana Child Welfare Manual, I note that almost all of the policies designed to give foster parents a voice were omitted in the 2011 revision. Beginning in the 1990’s with director Jim Hmurovich, Indiana child welfare policy gave foster parents the right to call a case conference when they wished to advocate for their foster child. No longer do foster parents have such a right.