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November 11, 2023

Why is NYC Telling Teachers to Not Keep Kids Safe?

When you see something, should you say something? According to the Office of Children and Family Services, it depends on the race of the victim.  New guidance released last month for New York City teachers offers some unusual bits of advice. Rather than reporting suspected cases of abuse to the Administration for Children’s Services, teachers should actually…

October 10, 2023

New White House Proposal to Further Alienate Religious Foster Parents

“All young people in foster care, including those who happen to be LGBTQ, deserve affirming, supportive environments to call home,” said Kasey Suffredini of the Trevor Project, as she and other advocates applauded the recent announcement from the White House proposing rules to require training for foster parents in how to care for these youth. The rule might…

October 10, 2023

Judge Erik Pitchal’s Warped Mindset Led to Baby Ella Vitalis’ Death

Ella Vitalis was only three weeks old when her parents brought her to the hospital with two broken ankles, a fractured skull and a brain hemorrhage. The couple, who had been visited by police after a domestic-violence incident, offered no explanation for their daughter’s injuries. After an investigation, the Administration for Children’s Services took Ella and her brother,…

October 5, 2023

DCS Has Failed Children It Was Supposed to Protect, This Lawsuit Shows Why

What should anger us most about the life of Kimberly F., a 15-year-old Indiana girl in the custody of the state’s Department of Child Services? That she was repeatedly sexually abused by at least three men? That those responsible for her allowed the abuse to continue? That the state repeatedly kept her in the care…

September 26, 2023

Former Foster Kids Need More Than Higher Education

When I tell people that I write about child welfare and the foster care system, the question I am most often asked is “What can we do about the problem of kids aging out?” “Aging out” is what happens when these teens and young adults — about 40,000 each year — leave foster care without being adopted…

September 25, 2023

As NYC Reels from Fentanyl Day Care Tragedy, Child Care Overdoses Are More Common Than We Think

“He had so much love,” Zoila Dominici said of her 1-year-old son Nicholas who died last week from fentanyl exposure after his home-based day care in The Bronx, Divino Nino, was found to be doubling as a drug den. Three other toddlers were hospitalized when the fentanyl fumes were absorbed into their lungs.  Unfortunately, cases like this are…

September 18, 2023

No Culture Wars, Please, We’re Academics

A few years ago, Melissa S. Kearney got into a taxi cab and asked the driver about a photo of a young girl on his dashboard. The driver confirmed it was his daughter and then proudly showed her more pictures. The girl lived with her mother, he explained. Kearney, a professor of economics at the…