Top Headlines for 1/9

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Child Welfare

John Barry of the Tampa Bay Times delves into the decision by the Florida Department of Children and Families to award a $65.5 million contract to Eckerd Youth Alternatives for work in Hillsborough County, a contract held for years by a local nonprofit in the county.

The new director of the Illinois Department of Children and Family Services has his work cut out for him, writes the editorial board of the Chicago Tribune. The editorial says the agency was filled with cronies by former Gov. Rod Blagojevich, and missed big time on a recent case involving Crescencio Valdez.

In Connecticut, reports Josh Kovner of the Hartford Courant, new child welfare leader Joette Katz is basically forcing her agency to take on long-needed reforms.

Alison Knezevich of The Baltimore Sun reports on a new partnership between Baltimore County’s social services department and experts from the Johns Hopkins University and the University of Minnesota to develop a screening tool that would, for the first time, quantify the impact of domestic violence on children.

Education/Jobs

When it comes to ending the cycle of poverty and prison in the black community, it has hard to think of a bigger priority than intervening in the lives of high school dropouts, writes Andrea Zopp in the Chicago Defender.

Huffington Post education writer Chris Kirkham reports on findings from a study of outcomes for students from for-profit colleges: high debt, high unemployment.

Citizens Voice Publisher Scott Lynett, says the Luzerne County juvenile court scandal, and his own paper’s dealings with the courts, made him realize how important it is to maintain scrutiny on the power of judges.

Juvenile Justice

One third of the child sex abuse crimes in the U.S. are committed by other children, and some advocates believe that efforts to deal constructively with juvenile sex offenders are complicated by the tendency of some legislators and others to lump them together with adult sexual predators, reports David Crary of the Associated Press.