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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 31, 2023

It Takes Two

It is indisputable that children are better off living with two nurturing parents who are in a stable, loving relationship compared to any other living situation. But it gets more contentious from there. Does “stability” require marriage? How important is it to live with two biological parents? What if one (or both) adults are not…

October 27, 2023

What Happened to the American Dream?

In the agonized debates over how it can possibly be that Donald Trump has such a strong chance of being returned to the White House in 2024, it’s important to stress the ways in which the Trump economy, before the arrival of Covid, departed in positive ways from the trends of the last half-century. Trump’s presidency was…

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 29, 2023

How Well Is Rural America Doing? You’d Be Surprised

Elizabeth Currid-Halkett’s ‘The Overlooked Americans’ rejects grim depictions of rural life. “Why are we so divided?” That’s probably the most asked question in American politics, especially since that Divider-in-Chief descended the golden escalator and announced that he alone could bring an end to America’s decline. Donald Trump’s election, however, is not the origin of America’s almost decadelong cosmopolitan-country sneer fest. It’s been…

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

A GOP Plan to Raise the Minimum Wage Is Also a Bid for Immigration Reform

Republicans have talked a lot in recent years about becoming a “workers party,” without having much of an agenda to match the rhetoric. A new Senate proposal aims to start changing that. The bill would raise the federal minimum wage from $7.25 to $11 per hour while also requiring employers to check that their employees are legally…