Tuesday, November 29, 2022

Play

Nevada LGBTQ+ groups hopeful after Senate vote on same-sex marriage; Corporate tax breaks under scrutiny, an update on Nebraska s abortion law; Oath Keeper Stewart Rhodes Guilty of seditious conspiracy.

Play

Georgia breaks a state record for early voting, Democrats are one step closer to codifying same-sex marriage, and Arizona county officials refuse to certify the results of the midterm elections.

Play

A water war in Southwest Utah has ranchers and Native tribes concerned, federal solar subsidies could help communities transition to renewable energy, and Starbucks workers attempt to unionize.

The Evolution of Ohio's Children Services System, Part 1: History

Play

Monday, December 6, 2021   

COLUMBUS, Ohio -- Children Services is tasked with protecting the safety, well-being, and permanency of children and families, but some experts say it has not escaped its origins as a system that separates.

Alexandra Citrin, senior associate at the Center for the Study of Social Policy, explained there is a long-standing belief foster care is the best and only intervention for families struggling with abuse or neglect, and she said separation particularly impacts families of color.

"At the beginning, the system didn't even serve children of color because they weren't deemed worthy," Citrin explained. "We then see the children services system separating Native children from their families and their culture to try and force assimilation, and separating Black children at a very high rate."

Citrin pointed out oppression and racism within children services are connected to systemic policies excluding families of color and do not create the social support families need.

The disparities are evident in other public systems rooted in racism, including juvenile justice. Currently, Black children represent 36% of the children in foster care in Ohio, while they represent 14% of children in the general population. Black and mixed-race children also experience more placements in the foster system than their white peers.

Research has found racial bias among people who report children to Children Services and among the caseworkers who assess a family's situation.

Robin Reese, executive director of Lucas County Children Services, said her staff is laser-focused on protecting children from abuse and neglect. When the focus is affected by poverty and the overwhelming number of cases workers are managing, she said it can unintentionally lead to racial disparities.

"We have some of the best people in this field, but the truth is, all of us come in with biases," Reese observed. "It impacts the way we do the work. And so, if you're a person of color, and you're poor, the risk of you having involvement in child protection is raised."

And Citrin noted the way child protection is funded also contributed to the history of separation. She emphasized prior to the passage of the Family First Prevention Services Act, federal funding streams including services to help keep children with their families were inadequate.

"Title IV-E up until very recently could only be used for foster care placements," Citrin stressed. "You didn't have the federal funding stream for child welfare services to serve families where children were able to remain home and in their community."

Title IV-E is the main federal funding source for child welfare systems. Citrin added states have also been limited in their ability to fund prevention services as child welfare agencies have to first pay for children who are placed in foster care as federal financing only covers part of the cost.

Part two of our series will examine the current state of children services and families served.


get more stories like this via email
In Pennsylvania, a minimum requirement for individuals to become foster parents is for them to pass screenings related to child abuse and criminal history. (Africa Studio/Adobe Stock)

Social Issues

The city-run Engagement Center is a low-barrier day facility, which serves a few hundred people each day from the nearby "Mass and Cass" area, offering everything from bathroom facilities and a clean bed to referrals to drug-treatment facilities, dental care and even writing groups. (Adobe Stock)

Health and Wellness

Boston's 'Mass and Cass' area, with its large homeless population and open-air drug market, remains a trouble spot for city officials, but staff at …


Social Issues

Maryland's Juvenile Restoration Act has been in effect for more than a year now and its impact has people talking about additional reforms. The act …

Social Issues

Local candidates that signed onto a no-corporate-money pledge made midterm election gains in Charleston. Katie Lauer, co-chair of West Virginia …


Research indicates that the number of women who have experienced Traumatic Brain Injury secondary to domestic violence is 11 to 12 times greater than experienced by military personnel and athletes combined. (Adobe Stock)

Health and Wellness

A new statewide initiative aims to help connect domestic-violence survivors with medical providers, with a focus on treating traumatic brain injury…

Environment

A successful program that helps low-income households weatherize homes and lower energy bills is setting its sights on improving the health outcomes o…

According to First Things First, 90% of a child's brain develops before he or she starts kindergarten. (Adobe Stock)

Social Issues

The Arizona New Parent Guide is a resource that is intended to help new parents meet the challenges of having a baby and support their baby's health …

Environment

This story is based on original reporting by Elizabeth McGowan for Energy News Network, and is part of the Solutions Journalism Network-Public News …

Social Issues

Human-rights activists in New Hampshire say the growing number of anti-LGBTQ+ bills at the Statehouse is encouraging right-wing extremists to intimida…

 

Phone: 303.448.9105 Toll Free: 888.891.9416 Fax: 208.247.1830 Your trusted member- and audience-supported news source since 1996 Copyright 2021