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News from the field of Child and Youth Care

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30 AUGUST

CANADA

Newfoundland: Minority parents and international entrepreneurs

Visible minorities in Newfoundland and Labrador fear that the Children and Youth Care and Protection Act fails to account for cultural differences in parenting and caregiving. Parents say they are battling a misconception that they are too hard on their children or do not love them as much.

The challenges are leading to the unnecessary intervention of childcare authorities under the Children and Youth Care and Protection Act. Many of the problems come down to inherent differences in the way visible minorities show affection to or discipline their children. Many visible minority parents are unaware the law exists, let alone its provisions. As such, there have been several cases where parents learn about the law after being subject to a protective intervention.

Visible minorities are now urging the Newfoundland government to make changes to the way the law is implemented. Several suggestions have been made to the province’s Department of Children, Seniors and Social Development.

How Newfoundland government can help visible minority parents

 By Colin Singer
28 August 2018
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27 AUGUST

Coffee and cake sees launch of cafe with care leavers at its heart

A CHARITY set up with the ambition of supporting care leavers as they transition to life on their own has officially opened its first UK cafe – in Redditch.

The Rees Cafe in Church Road is the first of what its founder Jan Rees hopes will be a series across the country.

Jan, a long time foster carer who received the OBE for her services to children, is the driving force behind the Rees Foundation, a national charity which supports anyone leaving foster or residential care.

“In this country we just seem to forget about young people when they leave care,” said former Redditch resident Jan.

“When you are in foster care you are first taken from your own family and when you leave foster care you do not have that family support system around you, because as well all know, the need doesn’t stop when someone reaches the age of 18.

“I started the Rees Foundation four years ago supporting young people in crisis and then I suddenly had this idea that a new community cafe might be a way forward,” said Jan.
“The need has never been greater – homelessness is a massive problem.”

Jan firmly believes this lack of support can lead to care leavers ending up in the penal system.

“My ambition is to empty the prisons of care leavers,” she said.

The cafe is run by Jan’s granddaughter Polly Jones who said: “We have a clothes bank here and a young lad came in who had just been evicted and we managed to get him kitted out with some things.” said Polly.

“Another was just out of prison and all he had were the clothes he was standing in and we gave him some clothes and bedding.”

The official opening was performed by borough Mayor Councillor Juliet Brunner, who said: “I was amazed at the work the Rees Foundation does to support our young care leavers and adults from advice and assistance to grants and activities.” 

23 AUGUST

Student volunteers help expand UW’s outreach to homeless youth

It started with a Sunday afternoon café outside a community center last December — the University of Washington’s new initiative to reach homeless youth around the U District.
In the eight months since, the UW’s effort, known as The Doorway Project, has offered a café in the neighborhood each quarter, while students have helped add services — from preventive health care to establishing a fundraising organization to designing a permanent café home.

Now, as The Doorway Project prepares for its summer café on Friday, faculty, students and partner organizations are planning a second, expanded school year of serving the neighborhood, which has one of the largest concentrations of homeless young adults in the area. The 2018 Count Us In point-in-time count — a one-night tally in January — found 1,518 homeless youth and young adults under age 25 in King County.

“We have a relatively unique vision, a café that is welcoming of all community members and isn’t the ‘homeless youth café,’” said Josephine Ensign, a professor in the UW School of Nursing and director of The Doorway Project.  “The young people we have worked with at the pop-up cafes tell us they like not feeling the stigma of a homeless specific shelter or drop-in center. On a macro level, the working through multiple community-campus partnerships while simultaneously delivering services was a success. Now we’re trying to build on the considerable assets of young people and our community.”

The Doorway Project emerged as part of Urban@UW’s Homelessness Research Initiative. The UW received $1 million from the state over two years, to be shared between the university and its community partner in the endeavor, YouthCare. The longtime Seattle organization coordinates social service resources for homeless youth, while at the UW, the schools of nursing and social work are leading the community-based participatory data collection that informs design and planning for the permanent, indoor home for the café and its related services. With Doorway funds, the UW Carlson Leadership & Public Service Center provides 10 paid student internships with community partners serving homeless youth. These student interns provided 1,900 hours of community service for the first year of the Doorway Project.

Attendance at the café events was one success, Ensign said. Some 400 people participated in the pop-up cafes, which aim to take a navigation center approach: In addition to meals, the events offer basic medical care and resources for transportation, education, legal help, housing and other social and support services.

Student involvement helped expand the reach, she added. A number of groups, both formal and informal, have provided services, such as the Health Sciences students who offer care through University District Street Medicine, and the Doorway Project registered student organization, which since January has organized volunteers and recently set up a GoFundMe page to help support the café’s “pay-it-forward” model. Not everyone carries cash to put toward meals on site, Doorway Project research assistant Noah Weatherton explained, so the online fundraising link gives people a chance to donate outside of the event.

UW students see homelessness “all around them every day,” said Weatherton, a graduate student in nursing who specializes in mental health.

“It’s been an opportunity for them to plug into the larger University District community and begin to make a difference both on and off campus,” he said.

Moving operations indoors is a priority for Doorway’s second year, Ensign said, as is, ultimately, landing a permanent spot for the café in the University District. The quarterly cafes have rotated around the neighborhood so far.

An initial schematic for the café will be on hand this Friday, with interactive community feedback. The sketch incorporates ideas from homeless youth, service providers and community members: a street-level coffee house, with a small lending library, art room, and connections to adjacent rooms for a wellness center, education, counseling services and a studio space for ongoing community-campus collaborative projects.

“Our aim with the Doorway Project is to create a community café, a safe space and resource hub for all young people in the U District experiencing housing and food insecurity — to have it be a welcoming place for coffee and positive community connections so everyone has a chance to thrive,” Ensign said.

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16 AUGUST

Unknowns in new legislation cause concern for children and youth services

Legislation that will affect children and youth services nationwide was slipped into the bipartisan Budget Act that passed in February, said Mark Egly, director of Lycoming County Children and Youth Services.

“It was kind of a surprise,” he said. “There are more questions than answers right now.”

Egly voiced his concerns Wednesday in a public hearing for the county’s Child Welfare and Juvenile Justice needs-based plan and budget.

The Family First Prevention Services Act redirects federal funding referred to as Title IV-E, used for foster and adoption placement costs, toward preventative measures.

“Folks have been advocating for a number of years across the country, saying ‘Why don’t you allow us to use that money to prevent kids from going into care in the first place?’ “ Egly said. “So that’s a positive. I’m just concerned … We need to understand more about the legislation, and Pennsylvania needs to make a decision whether they’re going to opt in this year or next.”

The act had the element of surprise, but states can postpone opting into certain regulations until as late as 2021, including whether to reimburse for congregate care regardless of meeting requirements. However, delaying meeting that regulation also would delay funding for prevention service funding, Egly said.

State and federal governments now are going back and forth, trying to glean more information from one another on the legislation and on programming that would meet the requirements proving them to be evidence-based. Pennsylvania also has asked its counties to provide lists of eligible preventative programming, Egly said.

“It’s difficult to know what kind of impact it’s going to have on your local system until you know what programs will be eligible,” he said.

Federal reimbursements from Title IV-E still will be available for placements in individual homes. However, programming referred to as congregate care — meaning the facility is licensed to care for more than six youth at a time, must now meet stringent requirements or the county will not be eligible for reimbursement. Only the first two weeks in congregate care may be eligible, Egly said.

Requirements include having licensed nurses or clinical staff available 24/7, providing trauma-informed care, having independent assessments done to show whether a child truly needs certain services and more, he said.

“My concern is I don’t know how it’s going to impact me yet. I think the state needs time to find out which programs we’ll be able to reimburse,” Egly said. “We’re all in a ‘wait and see’ kind of mode.”

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10 AUGUST

Oregon ranks first for homeless youth

Oregon ranks first in the nation for the rate of homeless children and youth and 10th in the percentage of foster care placements, according to a new report by WalletHub.

Overall, Oregon ranked 12th in the ratio of disadvantaged, or "underprivileged" children, compared with Washington, which ranked 26th, and California, which was 22nd.
The report , "2018's States with the Most Underprivileged Children," compared the 50 states and the District of Columbia across 24 metrics using statistics from the U.S. Census Bureau and other sources to rank the states on child welfare.

Metrics included the percentage of children living in poverty, the rate of child food insecurity, the state's share of children who have been reported abused and other factors.
In Oregon, the rate of homeless children and foster care placements have some correlation.

The state's number of homeless students was at a record high in 2016-17 at 22,541, according to the most recent state count. That was a 5.6 percent jump from 2015-16.
Meanwhile, inadequate housing is the third biggest driver of foster care placements, according to statistics from the Oregon Department of Human Services. The percentage of foster care placements due to inadequate housing has increased from 13 percent in 2015 to 17 percent in 2017.

Christine Stone, a spokeswoman for the Oregon Child Welfare Office, said she was unable to comment on the report Wednesday, Aug. 8, because she couldn't reach the office's experts on foster care placements. The office planned to issue a statement Thursday, Aug. 9.

Gov. Kate Brown's office stressed the importance of affordable, stable housing in addressing child welfare.
"Oregon's families need support to stay safely together, and the governor is working to bring more housing under development in the state pipeline as well as focusing on root causes that drive children into foster care, such as addiction treatment and recovery, access to comprehensive health care and domestic violence," said Kate Kondayen, a governor's spokeswoman. "The governor is also supporting the Department of Human Services Child Welfare division as they work on right-sizing the foster care system."

Some advocates believe mandatory relocation assistance for evicted tenants and rent control policies amid a boom in statewide population and the resulting demand for housing could help curb the trend.

"Without statewide tenant protections in Oregon, people are facing displacement, causing their families to either be ripped apart or live on the streets," said Alison McIntosh of the Oregon Housing Alliance. "Protecting these children should be the first priority" during the state legislative session in January, she said.

recent state audit shows the Oregon Child Welfare Office is still plagued with no centralized system for reporting child abuse, high caseworker turnover and a lack of follow-through on recommendations from previous routine audits.

The office has a shortage of foster parents with no plan to augment the number, according to the audit.

WalletHub, a Washington, D.C.-based personal finance website, produces a variety of city and state rankings as well as reviews of credit cards. The company has released reports ranging from the best credit cards with travel insurance to the best and worst cities for singles to live.

WalletHub released the report on children in poverty in August to commemorate Child Support Awareness Month.

The United States has the seventh highest child poverty rate among 41 economically-developed countries in the European Union and the Organisation for Economic Cooperation and Development, according to the United Nations Children Fund(UNICEF).

That group includes countries such as Greece, Romania and the Republic of Korea.

Paris Achen
Portland Tribune Capital Bureau

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6 AUGUST

These 5 cafes serve up care alongside cake and coffee to the homeless

"Having fun, making new friends and investing in human capital is what we do," at Darcy Street Project. From pay-it-forward coffee schemes and free breakfasts to helping at-risk youth learn life skills, these enterprises are doing good.

“People who come here seem to have one thing in common and that is they are kind. We believe the new cool is kindness,” says Janice Pullinen from Adelaide’s Inspire Café, one of the growing number of cafes that aim to make a real difference to the lives of people who are isolated, homeless or in need in some other way.

Inspire, run by the Women of Worth not-for-profit foundation, offers a safe space for those in need. “Many days we have people who pop in for a coffee, read a book or do some study and end up staying for hours. We love it. We believe people need people. Kindness is the key to it all. One coffee can change a life,” she says.

Pullinen is not alone in believing that a coffee, or a cafe, can make a real difference. Here are five inspiring cafes from across Australia.

Read full story from above link.

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1 AUGUST

NEW ZEALAND

Netsafe to tackle child sexual abuse material online

New Zealand online safety organisation Netsafe is voted on to the Board of global INHOPE network, as it ramps up its work to tackle child sexual abuse material online.

Netsafe’s Director of Technology and Partnerships, Sean Lyons, has been voted on to the Board of INHOPE, the umbrella organisation uniting a network of 48 hotlines tackling child sexual abuse imagery online and child sexual exploitation around the world.

Lyons says, “Child sexual abuse imagery is a global problem affecting children worldwide and working together is the only way that we can tackle this ever-growing threat. Through the efforts of member hotlines like Netsafe, INHOPE is removing more child sexual abuse imagery from the internet than ever before, stopping the re-victimisation of children who have been horrifically abused and safeguarding children worldwide.”

This comes at a time when Netsafe and its New Zealand partners have increased investment in the fight against child sexual abuse imagery online. Netsafe has joined other hotlines around the globe in utilising INHOPE’s ICCAM system to report and analyse child sexual abuse material. ICCAM is a secure platform for sharing reports of child sexual abuse material globally, as well as providing information to INTERPOL.

INHOPE hotlines submit reports of child sexual abuse material to the ICCAM system, where the material is analysed and traced. If found to be illegal, the report is then sent to the hotline in the country that the material is hosted where it is then given to the appropriate local law enforcement agency to investigate. In New Zealand, Netsafe works closely with the Department of Internal Affairs to pass on reports of material hosted in New Zealand to be investigated.

Department of Internal Affair’s Principal Advisor, Colm Gannon, says “Child sexual abuse material and the viewing of this material, is not a victimless crime. The images or videos hosted are the records, the evidential records of children being sexual exploited. Netsafe and the Digital Safety Directorate, Internal Affairs, are working together to reduce the demand, remove the websites and actively pursue the rescuing of victims of child sexual abuse.”

Mr Lyons is the Director of Technology and Partnerships and joined Netsafe in 2006. Netsafe has been an INHOPE Member Hotline since 2014 and joins the INHOPE board 19 years after it was first established. There are 48 INHOPE Member Hotlines across the globe, spanning all continents.

New Zealanders can report online material that they believe may be illegal directly to the Department of Internal Affairs at www.dia.govt.nz, or to Netsafe at www.netsafe.org.nz/report

1 August 2018

Press Release: Netsafe
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