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child welfare

Picture of Harold Pierce
While scores of public agencies are working to develop resources and programs to address childhood trauma and toxic stress in their communities, San Joaquin County in California has been turning itself into a model for how to address the issue.
Picture of Richard Cohen
The largest child welfare system in the nation has undergone major reforms in recent years. But some of these changes have come at the expense of crucial attachments that link children to caring adults.
Picture of Lily Dayton
“When you’re a foster girl, you feel unwanted,” a 21-year-old survivor said. “You’ve been through so much neglect and abuse. And then when you have a man tell you, ‘I love you, I’’ll take care of you, I’ll protect you,’ you want to believe him.”
Picture of Cary Aspinwall
In Oklahoma, ranked No. 1 for per capita female incarceration, kids were going missing from school because their mothers were locked up in county jail. "This was the most complicated story I’ve ever done," writes 2016 National Fellow Cary Aspinwall.
Picture of Ryan White
A new analysis of national data reveals for the first time just a slew of disparities between the mental and physical health of children placed in foster care and otherwise similar kids.
Picture of Olga Khazan

Can parenting classes help end America’s disgraceful child-abuse epidemic?

Picture of Ada Calhoun

As journalist Ada Calhoun "started casting around for potential good news in the child welfare world," she began delving into the country's "baby courts," where judges take a far more active role in bringing families back together.

Picture of Rob Perez

At his lowest point in prison, Simeon U‘u, a broad-shouldered man with tattoos down one arm and a thick silver chain around his neck, doubted he would get his children back. “I felt like I was a bad parent, that I abandoned them.”

Picture of Ada Calhoun

Proponents of baby courts argue that the traditional system is in crisis. They say the law is in some ways too quick to intervene with parents accused of neglect and abuse. Yet at the same time, they say, the legal system gives families too little attention when it comes to needed services.

Picture of Kristin Gourlay

Rhode Island’s Department of Children, Youth, and Families is struggling to cope with an influx of neglect and abuse cases and has run into financial trouble. Reporter Kristin Gourlay explores how a national "home visiting" program aims to keep families from entering the system in the first place.

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