Top Headlines for 12/15

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Child Welfare

Susan Livio and Bob Considine of the New Jersey Star-Ledger report on a recent review of the state’s child welfare system, which found mostly progress with some concern over rising investigative caseloads and a recent tragedy.

The Cuyahoga County (Ohio) boy who was removed from his mother due to his extreme obesity has lost 20 pounds in foster care, and the court has come to a workable plan with the mom to bring him home eventually, reports Emily Valdez of WTKR.com.

The suicides of two teens in Enfield, Conn., has prompted a town forum, reports the Hartford Courant.

Education/Jobs

Teens who have detassled corn as a summer job defend the gig to Omaha World-Herald columnist Robert Nelson. Detassling might not be a permissible job for young workers under the Department of Labor’s proposed changes to the child labor regulations.

The number of kids dropping out of Manatee County (Fla.) schools has dropped,  and - perhaps not coincidentally - graduation rates are down, reports Christine Hawes of Bradenton.com.

In Arkansas, federal cuts to Temporary Assistance for Needy Families are resulting in elimination of funding to boys and girls clubs, reports John Lyon of the Times Record.

Juvenile Justice

Home Depot and the Illinois Department of Children and Families are renovating a home in Chicago that will be used to help incarcerated juveniles transition out of secure facilities.  

The Justice Department has launched an investigation into whether school and law enforcement officials are targeting black students in Meridian, Miss., for unfair treatment, reports Jess Bravin of the Wall Street Journal.