Press Watch for September 2002

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Side Effects of Welfare Law: The No-Parent Family
New York Times

National studies indicate that as a result of welfare reform, more and more children are living in households with friends and relatives rather than their parents. An Urban Institute study found that the number of children in “no-parent” families rose from 1.8 million in 1997 to 2.3 million in 1999. The phenomenon is said to increase the likelihood of mental illness, erratic behavior and mistreatment for these children. July 29., search for “no parent family.” Account required.

Child-Only Cases Take Up a Bigger Share of Welfare
New York Times

In more than one-third of households on welfare, the only recipients are children. One reason: “Some of the same rules and practices that sharply reduced the regular welfare rolls are gradually expanding the pool of children eligible for child-only grants.” The story explores the implications for welfare policy and services. Aug. 14., search for
“child only welfare.” Account required.

‘This is a Hard Job to Do,’ Says Abuse Investigator
Tampa Tribune

With two high-profile cases of botched abuse investigations under their belts, Tampa child abuse investigators are nervous. One of them talks about the stigma associated with the recent cases. Systemwide problems in addition to massive caseloads contribute to over-worked employees and insufficient investigations. July 28.

Lost Kids Easily Found

Using law enforcement profiles, public records and interviews with relatives, this Fort Lauderdale newspaper found nine children that the state’s child welfare agency had said were missing. Aug. 11. http://, search for “lost kids easily found.”

Families Face Torturous Trade-off: Parents Give Up Children to Ensure Treatment for Mental Illnesses
Columbus Dispatch

More and more parents of mentally ill children are relinquishing custody and guardianship in order to provide them with adequate mental care. In most jurisdictions, parents are required to pay for a portion of the subsidized foster care, similar to alimony or child support. July 28., search for “mentally ill children.” Account required.

Guarding Their Precious Ones
Washington Post

As stories of child abductions dominate the news, parents are taking increasingly extreme steps to protect their children, such as installing tiny in-home cameras and tracking their children with Global Positioning Systems. July 14., search for “precious ones.” Account required.

Compiled from news reports, the Casey Journalism Center for Children and Families, and Connect for Kids.