Top Headlines 11/12

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Child Welfare

The L.A. Times’ Garrett Therolf reports on a backlog of 10,000 child abuse investigations in Los Angeles County. The social workers’ union in the county tells Therolf it has a lot to do with never-ending changes to agency policy: the procedural guide for child abuse investigations has been altered 39 times in the past year.

Brian Haas of The Tennessean reports that the state’s Department of Children’s Services may soon exit court oversight. The agency settled in 2000 with nonprofit litigator Children’s Rights. The organization issued a joint filing with the state this week that lays out some goals which, if Tennessee can meet them for 12 straight months, would end the lawsuit.

A group of advocates, legislators and policy makers in Nebraska asked the state in the form of a letter to slow down its move toward a privatized system, reports the World-Herald’s Martha Stoddard. State child welfare director Todd Reckling told Stoddard the admittedly uneasy shift to private providers would move forward despite the letter. The letter included the signature of Jim Blue, CEO of Lincoln-based Cedars Youth Services, which was dropped out as a private provider earlier this year because Blue felt the reimbursement rate from the state was not tenable.

Education/Jobs

The butting heads of a for-profit college and a community college in Florida last month appears to have come to an end, reports Michael Vasquez of the Miami Herald. The Fort Lauderdale, Fla.-based Keiser University dropped a lawsuit against the community college Florida State College at Jacksonville, after initially accusing the school of launching a destructive media campaign against it.

The Chronicle of Higher Education’s Goldie Blumenstyk reports on a national trend of enrollment declines at for-profit colleges.

The Patriot News’ Monica Van Dobeneck reports that a political mess in the Harrisburg, Pa.’s school board could lead to the closing of an after-school program that provides meals and tutoring to 950 students. Teachers and support staff have not been paid in six weeks as U.S. Department of Education funding for the program is available but has yet to be filtered through the school board, the article says.

Juvenile Justice

Wyoming counties must use a detention assessment tool to determine who goes into detention, but about half the counties aren’t using it yet, reports Trib.com’s Joshua Wolfson.

Miscellaneous

Nonprofit Quarterly has learned that Kenneth Bach, acting inspector general for the Corporation for National and Community Service, will be reviewing the grant making process for the Social Innovation Fund, a signature youth initiative of the Obama administration. Ruth McCambridge reports that SIF Director Paul Carttar informed the panelists CNCS used to score this year’s proposals that Bach and his staff may be calling.

Beltway website The Hill ran a heartfelt opinion piece from Sen. Jon Tester (D-Montana) about Montana’s Fort Peck Indian Reservation, where 26 young people attempted suicide last year and six succeeded