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Press Releases

News from the field of Child and Youth Care

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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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