Thursday, March 23, 2023


A proposed flavored tobacco ban is back on the table in Minnesota, Trump attorney Evan Corcoran must testify in the documents probe, and a "clean slate" bill in Missouri would make "expungement" automatic.


The Fed raises interest rates and reassures the banking system is sound, Norfolk Southern reaffirms a commitment to the people of East Palestine, and TikTok creators gather at the Capitol to support free expression.


Finding childcare is a struggle everywhere, prompting North Carolina's Transylvania County to try a new approach. Maine is slowly building-out broadband access, but disagreements remain over whether local versus national companies should get the contracts, and specialty apps like "Farmers Dating" help those in small communities connect online.

Creating Family Not Always Easy for NYS Foster Kids


Monday, November 14, 2022   

It can be a long road to finding permanent homes for kids in the New York State foster care system, but many find it worthwhile.

Megan Battista is a Wendy's Wonderful Kids recruiter who saw this in Merriah, a child in a temporary foster home that wasn't on the path to permanency.

Battista said she knew Merriah was longing to settle past traumas and knew finding her a mentor was the best thing to do. The hope was to have someone who could work with Merriah on her goals and guide her in navigating certain challenges.

She found a mentor in fellow Wendy's Wonderful Kids Recruiter, Emilie Kenneally. After awhile, Kenneally decided to adopt Merriah.

Battista said this wasn't always the plan, but she had an idea it might happen.

"I think that you can tell when a resource is ready to be permanency when they start to be, like, really concerned about wherever that kid is," said Battista. "So, I think there were some things that came up where she was like, 'I'm just really worried. I want to make sure that Merriah's getting the best', when she was not going to be a placement for them."

Kenneally went from mentor to mother. She and her husband John became certified foster parents to do respite for Merriah, and adopted her after a placement fell apart.

Battista said she feels that while Merriah is unique, her circumstances aren't. She said it can be easy to not want to rock the boat when placing an older kid, especially when they're not eager to be in a certain placement.

It was an interesting experience for Kenneally to be on a different end of the foster-care spectrum. Although she's worked in child welfare for many years, this was quite a different experience.

But, after getting to know - and later adopting her - Kenneally noted that Merriah has changed for the better since they first met.

"After being adopted, she can finally dream of the future," said Kenneally. "She knows that she has a safety net and people who care about her and that she can lean on, no matter what. And, so I think having that has really given her the opportunity to think of what her life could be and to have dreams, and not have to focus on just making it through the day."

One piece of advice Kenneally has for others is to manage your expectations. She said acknowledging what foster kids come from and have been through can be helpful to potential foster parents.

She's learned that things may not go the way a parent plans, but it still is likely to turn out all right.

get more stories like this via email
In 2020, 35% of Idaho mothers had Medicaid at the time of their child's birth. (WavebreakMediaMicro/Adobe Stock)

Social Issues

With concerning trends emerging for pregnant and postpartum women, frustration is growing that Idaho lawmakers could end the session without …

Health and Wellness

Health advocates are promoting a package of bills this legislative session to make health care easier to get - and more affordable. The Care 4 All …

Social Issues

A new study from the University of New Hampshire found New England's LGBTQ+ residents experience higher rates of food insufficiency, the measure of …

According to the Center for American Progress, nearly nine in 10 employers, four in five landlords, and three in five colleges use background checks to screen for applicants' criminal records. (Yurii Kibalnik/Adobe Stock)

Social Issues

A large percentage of Missourians who could to have their criminal records "expunged" have not done so, despite the effects expungement -- referred …

Social Issues

A person's work personnel file can be important to review, but some Washingtonians are finding them hard to obtain. A bill in Olympia would ensure …

The most recent Farm Bill covered areas such as agricultural conservation, trade and foreign food assistance, farm credit and research. (Adobe Stock)


The U.S. Farm Bill is up for reauthorization, and Congress faces calls to avoid any delays so certain programs can keep helping farmers and consumers …


As wildfire seasons in Colorado and across the American West become longer, less predictable and increasingly destructive, a new report aims to …


New research shows the demand for native seed supply across the Western United States, including Nevada, has increased, but the supply simply is not …


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