Press Watch for May 2004

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Child Welfare 

Foster Home Scarcity Means Many Youths Languish for Months
Hartford Courant

Because of a shortage of foster care homes in Connecticut, more than 100 children at a time are forced to wait in state’s emergency shelters, which include a YMCA. Shelter residents can attend public school, but otherwise, life is “basically like house arrest,” according to one 17-year-old. March 30., go to archives and enter “foster home scarcity.”

For Sexually Active Teens, Confidentiality No Guarantee
Milwaukee Journal Sentinel

An exemption prevents family planning organizations from reporting underage sexual activity, unless that activity is believed to involve abuse. But some groups are breaking confidentiality rules. Family planners say this may keep girls from seeking health care for sexually transmitted diseases and pregnancy, but others worry about poor decision-making by teen girls and potential fines for not reporting possible cases of sex abuse. April 5.

Inmates, Kids Tighten Bonds
News & Observer

A medium-security prison in North Carolina recently began a fatherhood program for incarcerated men, offering them parenting seminars and camp-style activities with their kids. The idea is being considered by other states. March 28., go to archives and search for headline; registration required.

Kids’ Healthcare: Band-Aids Still Unavailable
Christian Science Monitor

Facing budget crunches, many states have reduced spending on the State Children’s Health Insurance Program (SCHIP) by limiting enrollment or increasing co-payments. Despite the money-saving measures, the number of enrolled children continues its steady ascent. April 1., go to search and enter headline; registration required.

System’s Problems Frustrate All Involved
Indianapolis Star

A look into the daily happenings at the Marion County juvenile court reveals a frustrating scene of overburdened judges, overworked public defenders, and angry and underrepresented youth. As Chief Public Defender David Cook struggles to get the manpower he needs to handle the surge in juvenile cases, the system chugs on as best it can. March 28., go to search and enter headline; registration required.

Lax Training May Imperil Kids: Macomb Juvenile Center Falls Short of State Standards
Detroit News

The News’ investigation of correctional workers’ training records reveals that only four of 98 Macomb Juvenile Center employees met training requirements in 2002. The center spent less than one-third of the $74,000 available to it for training between 1998 and 2002. April 4., go to news search and enter headline.

Troubled Minds, Chaotic Care
Cincinnati Enquirer

Since 2001, nearly 1,800 youth with serious mental illnesses have been relinquished by their parents to the state. The reason, say parents and local youth advocates: a mental health system drowning in bureaucracy and marred by scandal. March 21.