Top Headlines 7/19

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Child Welfare

Both sides involved the Michigan foster-care reform (the state, and the nonprofit named Children’s Rights that sued it) are happy with the progress made of late, reports Robin Erb of the Detroit Free Press. Erb described the tenor in court this week, when both parties met with U.S. District Judge Nancy Edmunds, as a “startling change in direction.”

At that meeting, reports Paul Egan of the Detroit News, Edmunds approved a number of changes aimed at making adoptions happen faster and with less paperwork.

Claire Bessette of Connecticut’s profiles 26-year-old Kristin DeShong, who is striving for stability after spending most of her young life in the custody of three different state systems.

There is a wait list for West Virginia’s annual Child Abuse and Neglect Cross-Training Conference, reports Susan Sullivan of the State Journal, and organizers said that the enthusiasm to help get misplaced children in a permanent home is crucial to state programs.

Juvenile Justice

Pennsylvania is formally asking the Justice Department to waive the penalty connected to non-compliance with the Adam Walsh Act of 2006, Chuck Biedka of Pennsylvania’s Valley News Dispatch reports. State officials told Biedka that the state is very close to compliance, and they are confident that Justice will let the state keep the roughly $2 million it stands to lose.

Staff could have saved the 18-year-old Florida teen who died earlier this month in a West Palm Beach detention center, said a lawyer representing the teen’s family. Angela Rozier of reports.

Give juvenile lifers a chance at parole, urges the editorial board of the Detroit Free Press. A federal judge has allowed the state’s ACLU chapter to proceed with a challenge to the sentences of some of the 350 Michigan inmates sentenced to life for juvenile crimes.