Press Watch for September 2003

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Help, But Not Enough, for Girl Who Was Discarded Twice
The New York Times

During the eight years of Stephanie Ramos’ life, she was discarded twice in a plastic bag – despite intense intervention by the state of New York. Advocates for disabled foster children say the tragedy highlights the dangerous unpredictability of the foster system. The lack of reliability and follow-up, they say, is especially dangerous for multiple-needs children. July 18., go to archives and search for headline. Registration required.

Bedtime Stories on Tape, From Prison
The Washington Post

Incarcerated mothers at five prisons across the country can read their children bedtime stories because of a special project by Volunteers of America. The organization partnered with Scholastic to provide books and materials for the year-old program. Selected inmates record books on tape, which their children can listen to while following along with the books in their hands. July 28., go to archives and search for headline. Registration required.

Experts See Child Abuse Cloaked in Neighbors’ Silence
The (Newark) Star-Ledger

After a 19-month-old boy drowned last month in New Jersey, neighbors admitted that they suspected neglect. In a state whose division of youth and family services has come under fire for a rash of child deaths, experts believe public hesitance to report neglect may contribute to the problem. June 27., go to archives and search for headline. Registration required.

States Weigh Tuition Breaks for Undocumented Immigrants

Undocumented immigrants have difficulty proving residency to qualify for in-state college tuition, and are left to pay much higher out-of-state fees or not go at all. Over the past two years, nearly half of the state legislatures have moved toward allowing undocumented immigrants to pay in-state tuition, while a handful have introduced bills aimed at precluding them. June 23.

Adoptions Don’t Always Pan Out
The Pittsburgh Post-Gazette

Though statistics on failed adoptions are scarce, researchers believe that 15 percent to 20 percent of abused and neglected children placed for adoption are returned before the process is finalized. Experts debate whether parents should be forbidden to return adopted children. July 6., go to archives and search for headline.

Mutual Benefit: In a Mediation Program That Brings Victims and Juvenile Offenders Together, Both Sides Win
San Diego Union-Tribune

In San Diego, the Restorative Justice Mediation Program has brought together victims, offenders and parents to resolve hundreds of juvenile cases without the help of the court system. No complete evaluations have been done, but San Diego police say that only one of 50 minors who entered the program in 2000 was rearrested in the following six months. July 10., go to archives and search by headline.

Safe Haven
Christian Science Monitor

Forty-three states have passed laws allowing parents to legally abandon their babies in designated safe places. Opponents of the laws – who are often adoption advocates – say the laws undermine the child welfare process, with little evidence that they are saving children. July 24., go to archives and search by headline. Registration required.

Last Chance Ranch; Florida Detention Center Treats Troubled, Violent Girls
National Public Radio

The first installment of NPR’s five-part series, “Girls and the Juvenile Justice System” looks at the Florida Institute for Girls, the last facility before adult prison for girls with mental health issues. July 22. This and other segments of the series are available at, search for headline.