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Child Welfare

The Orlando Sentinel sent outgoing Florida child welfare director George Sheldon off with a gushing editorial about his tenure, and had a message for new director David Wilkins: leave it better than you found it.

Meanwhile, new Florida Gov. Rick Scott’s leadership has told Miami Herald reporters Mary Ellen Klas and Carol Marbin Miller that he has no plans to challenge the state’s allowance of gay adoptions, but some child advocates fear that he and Wilkins will not approve potential gay adoptive parents.

Maryland child welfare officials say the state has been getting money from the federal government for years to help keep youth out of foster care, but this year were denied a $10 million reimbursement for the work from the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services.

The editorial board of Kentucky’s Courier-Journal accused child welfare officials this week of conducting an information end-around after a toddler died in a meth lab.

New Jersey will close its final two residential treatment centers for children with behavioral health issues, reports the Star-Ledger’s Jason Laday. The state will now have to rely mostly on community mental health services to serve youths who remain with parents, in foster homes or in group homes.


Christopher Smith of the Texas Tribune covers the recommendations on children in long-term foster care made by a youth advocacy group to the Texas Supreme Court, at the court’s request. Texas Appleseed told the courts that it starts with consistency and familiar faces at court proceedings for the youths.


Marc Morial, former mayor of New Orleans and CEO of the National Urban League, wrote a column in the Seattle Medium in which he advocates for the federal government to adopt a 12-point blueprint for job creation. Number one on the list is a standalone summer youth employment program.

Steve Eighinger of the Quincy Herald-Whig (Ill.) reports on what happened to one district’s after-school programs when enrollment fees were tripled: enrollment declined by 24.7 percent.

Missoula County Public Schools in Montana is celebrating the one-year anniversary of an initiative to aggressively track students who have gone missing, something officials boast is already leading to dropout reductions. By Jamie Kelly, Missoulian.

Washington Post education reporter Jay Mathews profiles a Maryland school for disabled youth as an example of a positive partnership between a county school system and a charter school.

Juvenile Justice

Juvenile justice researcher Jeff Butts posted an interesting piece on the Reclaiming Futures website that includes a YouTube presentation on why only measuring recidivism is a bad idea.

Maryland passed legislation last year that it thought would bring the state into compliance with the federal Adam Walsh Act, but a policy on juvenile registry may be a sticking point that costs the state a financial penalty from the Department of Justice, reports the Baltimore Sun’s Julie Bykowicz.

A 15-year-old was sentenced to six years in juvenile confinement in the 2009 killing of Chicago teen Derrion Albert, reports the Associated Press. The brutal beating of Albert was caught on a cell phone camera, and prompted a visit to the city from Attorney General Eric Holder and Education Secretary Arne Duncan. The judge in the teen’s trial called Tuesday “the saddest day the I have ever been a part of as a judge.”

A Virginia Senate committee has killed a legislative attempt to move more juveniles into adult court without judicial approval, reports radio station WTOP’s website