There’s Only One National Law That Directly Addresses Abused, Neglected Children And Not A Single State Fully Complies
The Boston Globe and ProPublica reviewed thousands of pages of legal, criminal, medical and child welfare records, along with recorded interviews, to piece together a full picture of the failings of the government to properly track and address child abuse.
The Law Says She Should Have Been Protected From Birth. Instead, She Was Left In The Care Of Her Drug-Addicted Mother, Who Killed Her.
The adults in her life began failing Jasmine Irwin before she ever left the hospital. Born severely underweight — just 4 pounds, 3 ounces — to a mother with a history of dealing and abusing methamphetamine, Jasmine might have been exposed to drugs in the womb, doctors believed, which should have jump-started intensive efforts to keep her safe. But hospital records show staff never followed up, failing to conduct drug tests on the baby or her mother, Tami Mann, before letting Mann take Jasmine home to the family’s trailer in this small town north of the state capital. (Palmer and Huseman, 12/13)
The Price Of America’s Inability To Track Child Deaths From Abuse And Neglect? Sometimes, More Lives.
Experts have long suspected that the United States badly undercounts the number of children who die from abuse and neglect. The voluntary reporting system relied on for decades may be off by at least 200%, they say, missing thousands of fatalities. In 2012, Congress moved to make information about the deaths more accessible to the public by requiring states to release detailed reports on child fatalities and near-fatalities. But when The Boston Globe and ProPublica set out to collect these reports, it turned into a frustrating, three-year slog through child welfare offices from Maine to Hawaii. (Huseman, Palmer and Schroering, 12/13)
Nobody Knows How Many Kids Die From Maltreatment And Abuse In The U.S.
In 2016, ProPublica and The Boston Globe requested records for every child who died from child abuse between 2011 and 2015. We got around 7,000 records in response, a number that’s already slightly higher and much more detailed than the information available to the public from the National Child Abuse and Neglect Data System — the main source of this data since the 1980s — over the same period. But experts agree that it’s still a substantial undercount and that child fatalities may be three times higher. (Fung and Huseman, 12/13)
In other news on children's health —
Kansas City Star:
Why Do Former US Foster Children Often Become Homeless?
Every year, roughly 20 percent of the young adults who age out of foster care in America — more than 4,000 — immediately become homeless, studies show. And thousands more — rising to as much as 40 percent in some parts of the country — are homeless within four years of aging out. (Bauer and Thomas, 12/15)
Kansas City Star:
Foster Kids Have Low High School & College Graduation Rates
The Star spent the past year examining the long-term outcomes for kids who age out of foster care. It found that many will end up homeless, jobless and in prison because, in part, they were shortchanged on education. Shuffled from home to home, often sent outside their original school districts, they fall behind early and don’t catch up. In every pocket of the nation, the graduation rates for foster children are significantly lower than for all other “special population groups,” including homeless students and those with disabilities. (Bauer, 12/15)