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Child Welfare

Florida Department of Children and Families Secretary David Wilkins is asking lawmakers to give capable child abuse investigators a raise, reports Janine Zeitlin of the News-Press. The salary for an investigator in Southwest Florida starts at $34,829, Zeitlin reports,  and because the salary has been frozen for years a rookie receives the same pay as a veteran.

Jennifer Hemmingsen, a columnist for The Gazette in Cedar Rapids,  reports on father denied custody of his child,  along with a follow-up piece about how the  That’s followed by a story about how the man’s extended family was turned down as well

Meribah Knight, reporting for the Chicago News Cooperative of The New York Times, looks at cases in which adoption is not the happily-ever-after it’s cracked up to be.

Beth Whitworth of the Atlanta Child Welfare Examiner posits a negative assessment of the new proposed Georgia law to require drug testing for welfare recipients.

A longtime Connecticut residential facility for troubled youths will do away with most of its beds and concentrate more on in-home family services, reports Josh Kovner of the Hartford Courant. The move dovetails with a major push by the state Department of Children and Families to decrease the number of kids in residential centers, reports Kovner.

Another law professor, Vivek Sankaran, a law professor at the University of Michigan Child Advocacy Law Clinic, opines in the Detroit Free Press on the widespread confusion of poverty with “neglect” in Michigan.

Another law prof - Matthew Fraidin of the University of the District of Columbia School of Law – writes a powerful first sentence in this Huffington Post blog: “The nuclear secret of child welfare is that most of the children in foster care should not be there.”

New Jersey will pay a Pennsylvania family $5 million in damages for the physical and sexual abuse their adopted daughter suffered as a baby while under the care of New Jersey’s Division of Youth and Family Services, reports Megan DeMarco and Susan Livio of NJ.com.

Education/Jobs

In North Kitsap, Wash., reports Rachel Pritchett of the Kitsap Sun, the local Rotary Club and city officials are trying to set up a homeless teen drop-in center in the empty part of a building that currently holds a job center.

Butler County’s workforce development system is about to lose a lot of institutional knowledge, reports Chelsey Levingston of Ohio’s Oxford Press.

Juvenile Justice

The case of Edgar Coker, who as a teen pleaded to a sex crime he was later exonerated of by the accusing victim, highlights flaws in Virginia’s sex offender registry, reports Frank Green of the Richmond Times-Dispatch.

McClatchy News Service breaks down the reorganization underway of North Carolina’s justice system, in which the state’s juvenile system will become part of a new Department of Public Safety, which will also house the adult correctional system.