Top Headlines 6/15

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Child Welfare

Kris Kitto of The Hill reports on a small group of staffers and Congressmen in Washington who are developing foster care policy. The key players among the pols, Kitto reports, are Sens. Maria Cantwell (R-Wash.) and Mary Landrieu (D-La.), as well as Reps. Michele Bachmann (R-Minn.), Karen Bass (D-Calif.) and Dennis Cardoza (D-Calif.).

Governing Executive Editor Jonathan Walters writes that the Annie E. Casey Foundation’s strategy of prompting systemic child welfare change by focusing on a “catalytic” point: reliance on institutional care.

A Texas nonprofit established to assist youth who have aged out of foster care will launch in 2012, reports Wendy Rubick of Impact News.

The Peoria Journal Star editorial board says that faith-based organizations should be able to pass on licensing foster and adoptive parents who are unmarried but are joined in civil union. One Catholic Charities agency in the state has already dropped its foster care and adoption services, and two others are fighting in court for the ability to continue services without licensing civilly joined couples.

Daniel Heimpel, director of Fostering Media Connections, makes the case for a stronger guarantee of educational services for foster youth in the Huffington Post.

Education/Jobs

Sen. Tom Coburn (R-Okla.) suggested that he might support an alternative to the DREAM Act  that granted undocumented students special visas instead of citizenship, reports Juan Miret of the Hispano de Tulsa.

The Iowa City Press Citizens backs Sen. Tom Harkin (D-Iowa) on the White House’s gainful employment rules for career colleges: They don’t go far enough.

Juvenile Justice

Daniel Wood of the Christian Science Monitor reports on the National Gang Symposium last week, at which activists and law-enforcement officials expressed concern that budget cuts would infringe on efforts to curb gang activity.