Top Headlines 5/9

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Child Welfare

N.R. Kleinfield and Mosi Secret of the New York Times chronicle the short and tragic life of Marchella Pierce, whose September death has yielded homicide charges for the child welfare caseworkers assigned to monitor the child.

A union representing Washington state child welfare workers is suing in state superior court to keep the state from moving forward with privatization of the system, reports Kevin Graman of the Spokesman-Review.

Rhode Island wants a U.S. District Court to dismiss a lawsuit filed on behalf of ten children in the state’s child welfare system, reports Ian MacDougall of the Associated Press. Of the ten plaintiffs, only two remain in foster care, and the state believes the fact that the other eight have been adopted invalidates their inclusion in the lawsuit.

PennLive columnist Jeanette Krebs suspects that Pennsylvania’s low number of child abuse investigations might be too good to be true. About eight of every 1,000 children are involved in an investigation in Pennsylvania, she writes, compared with about 40 per 1,000 nationwide.

 The Shreveport Times begins a series on child abuse in Louisiana with an interview with state child welfare specialist Bradly McCollum, who discusses the use of corporal punishment and other strategies.


A bill that would enable youth brought into the country illegally to apply for private and public student aid has passed through the California State Assembly, says the EGP News Report  

Lindsay Peterson of the Tampa Tribune reports on a state audit in Florida that rips the agency charged with oversight of for-profit colleges in the state.

Juvenile Justice

Matthai Kuruvila of the San Francisco Chronicle reports on the concerns of local officials about Gov. Jerry Brown’s desire to move juvenile offenders out of state facilities.  Kuruvila focuses on the case of Alameda County, where the county’s chief probation officer believes youths are better off in local facilities but says he doesn’t have the capacity to handle all of the 71 juveniles who would return to Alameda for placement.

Juvenile advocates are criticizing a bill that would bring Illinois close to compliance with the federal Adam Walsh Act, reports Patrick Yeagle of the Illinois Times. The bill, which unanimously passed the state senate already, would increase the length of  time that sex offenders remained on a public registry, including juvenile offenders.

Huffington Post columnist Diane Dimond praises Boys & Girls Clubs of America for its role in breaking “the cycle of young people turning to crime.”