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By NEW YORK TIMES NEWS SERVICE | May 8, 1997
RICHMOND, Va. -- Years after their drug-addicted mother walked out, a Juvenile Court judge in July 1996 decided to award custody of three children -- ages 10, 6 and 4 -- to the grandmother of two of them.The grandmother, whose son fathered two of the children, seemed to have everything going for her. She had a new house, a prominent lawyer and the power of her appeal to keep the family intact.But city caseworkers were skeptical, and the decision was appealed. What they did next reflects a monumental change in the way cities are dealing with children from troubled homes.
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NEWS
By Michael Dresser, The Baltimore Sun | July 21, 2014
Gov. Martin O'Malley and a group of faith leaders agreed Monday that thousands of immigrant children who have poured into the United States should be housed in foster homes and other small settings, not large centers as the federal government has proposed. The governor invited about 50 religious leaders and others to meet at the State House in response to the crisis that has developed along the nation's southern border as tens of thousands of unaccompanied children - many fleeing violence in Central America - have entered the country seeking refuge.
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NEWS
By Douglas W. Nelson | November 29, 2007
Recent news reports about Baltimore's child welfare system have drawn attention to the crucial need to give the city's children in foster care a safe place to live and basic health care services. Those need to be top priorities. But these children need much more - and Maryland's Department of Human Resources has a chance to deliver. For more than 20 years, the Annie E. Casey Foundation has worked with jurisdictions across the country to do better by children in foster care. If there is one essential lesson we have learned, it is that in order to thrive and succeed in life, these children need not only protection but also strong, permanent families.
NEWS
By Jacques Kelly, The Baltimore Sun | March 25, 2013
Harriet S. Frenkil, a retired social worker who worked in foster care, died of respiratory failure Wednesday at Union Memorial Hospital. The Owings Mills resident was 84. Born Harriet Schwartzman in Baltimore, she was the daughter of Jean David and Henry Schwartzman, a manager of the Goucher Garment Co. She attended Forest Park High School and after moving to Florida graduated in 1946 from Miami Beach High School. She enrolled at the University of Florida in Gainesville and studied for a year before her marriage to Erwin "Buddy" Frenkil, an attorney she had known in Baltimore.
NEWS
June 4, 2008
Too many Maryland children in foster care are in group homes, which are generally more expensive than family care and not as responsive to the needs of abused and neglected youngsters. That recent assessment by the nonprofit group Advocates for Children and Youth is on the mark, and Brenda Donald, who heads the state's Department of Human Resources, agrees. Her agency hopes to recruit 1,000 new foster families by 2010. But ACY counts only 89 new families since June 2007. The agency needs to step up its recruiting and do more to help existing foster families.
NEWS
By Los Angeles Times | April 25, 1995
WASHINGTON -- The government advised adoption and foster-care agencies yesterday that if they receive federal aid, they may not delay or deny the placement of any children because of racial or ethnic considerations.Guidelines issued by the Department of Health and Human Services were designed to carry out the Multiethnic Placement Act of 1994, which President Clinton signed last October and which runs counter to past practices by many social workers.In approving the controversial act, Congress expressed its concern that children from minority groups often are spending long periods of time in foster care -- sometimes twice as long as non-minority children -- while they wait to be placed in adoptive homes.
NEWS
April 9, 1992
They loved her; she called them mommy and daddy. So the couple decided to adopt the cute infant they had taken in 2 1/2 years earlier as a foster child. But welfare officials objected. The child was taken from the couple's home. Later they were told that a more "suitable" family had been found. The couple was emotionally devastated by the decision; the woman wept, while her husband was tormented by feelings of anger and helplessness.While the numbers are not large, such scenes have been played out with increasing frequency in recent years.
NEWS
By Laura Lippman and Laura Lippman,Evening Sun Staff | April 30, 1991
Foster-care costs in Maryland are rising 25 to 30 percent annually, even though the state already has the means to reduce costs and improve services to children, according to a report released by the Foster Care Review Board.Since fiscal year 1987, foster care's cost has grown from $45 million to this year's projected expenditures of $115 million. The increase can be tied to the number of children in foster care -- from 4,300 in 1987 to 5,350 in 1991 -- and to more expensive, lengthier placements.
NEWS
By Laura Lippman and Laura Lippman,Evening Sun Staff | December 30, 1991
Fifteen percent of the city's population received family welfare payments during the 1991 fiscal year, according to a report issued this month by the Baltimore Department of Social Services.The report, an overview of Shirley Marcus' last year as director of the agency, states that 38,896 families made up the average monthly caseload for Aid to Families with Dependent Children. The monthly caseload included 107,389 individuals -- 68 percent of them children.The caseload was up 5.3 percent over the previous year, while the AFDC payments for 1991 represented a 6.5 percent increase in money spent -- from $159.
NEWS
October 2, 2006
Maryland's child welfare agency, like others around the country facing rising costs, collects Social Security and other federal benefits received by children in foster care to help defray the state's cost of caring for them. Some children's advocates have rightly questioned this practice of converting the benefits of needy children into a source of state funding, rather than using it to subsidize much-needed additional foster care services. We believe the money collected - about $100 million annually nationwide - should be used for more supportive services and increased payments to woefully underpaid foster parents.
NEWS
By Yvonne Wenger, The Baltimore Sun | December 25, 2012
Devontay Hudson moved from one foster home to another for years, but last month he was adopted by a Millford Mill family - another symbol of a statewide initiative that has sharply reduced the number of children in foster care. The Gilman School sophomore, an aspiring chemical engineer, can't remember how old he was when he entered foster care, and doesn't know much about his birth family. But ask him about his adopted family and the soft-spoken teen says he's glad to be home. "It was a blessing for me to be a part of a family," said Devontay, 15, whose adoption increased the family of Ronald Wilkins and Demetria Jackson-Wilkins to nine members.
NEWS
By Olivia Bobrowsky and Olivia Bobrowsky,Olivia.bobrowsky@baltsun.com | July 26, 2009
The Baltimore Department of Social Services found families for 384 children during fiscal 2009, beating its adoption goal for the first time since 2002. Baltimore children count for almost half of Maryland's total adoptions, according to the state Department of Human Resources. Statewide, the department finalized 770 adoptions, topping its goal of 707. "It's a huge accomplishment for our local departments and particularly Baltimore City, which has struggled before to achieve its adoptions goal," Brenda Donald, DHR secretary, said.
NEWS
June 27, 2009
Kathleen Parker trades in conspiracy theories In her June 24 column "Iran's revolution now has a name and a symbol," Kathleen Parker writes that Neda Agha-Soltan might have been shot by one of her protesting comrades, not by an Iranian militiaman. She goes on to suggest that Ms. Agha-Soltan might have willingly participated in her execution and its haunting videotaping, in order to create a backlash against the Ahmadinejad regime. In like fashion, entertainer David Letterman's recent smear of Gov. Sarah Palin's daughter was secretly undertaken on behalf of the Republican Party, to drum up sympathy for Ms. Palin.
NEWS
June 4, 2008
Too many Maryland children in foster care are in group homes, which are generally more expensive than family care and not as responsive to the needs of abused and neglected youngsters. That recent assessment by the nonprofit group Advocates for Children and Youth is on the mark, and Brenda Donald, who heads the state's Department of Human Resources, agrees. Her agency hopes to recruit 1,000 new foster families by 2010. But ACY counts only 89 new families since June 2007. The agency needs to step up its recruiting and do more to help existing foster families.
NEWS
By Douglas W. Nelson | November 29, 2007
Recent news reports about Baltimore's child welfare system have drawn attention to the crucial need to give the city's children in foster care a safe place to live and basic health care services. Those need to be top priorities. But these children need much more - and Maryland's Department of Human Resources has a chance to deliver. For more than 20 years, the Annie E. Casey Foundation has worked with jurisdictions across the country to do better by children in foster care. If there is one essential lesson we have learned, it is that in order to thrive and succeed in life, these children need not only protection but also strong, permanent families.
NEWS
By Lynn Anderson and Lynn Anderson,SUN REPORTER | August 3, 2007
Maryland's child welfare agency has joined with the Annie E. Casey Foundation to reform foster care in the state, including increasing the number of foster families and reducing the waiting time for families who wish to adopt a child in foster care. The foundation's Casey Strategic Consulting Group has worked with officials in New York City and Indiana to improve social services, said Brenda Donald, the head of the Maryland Department of Human Resources, which oversees foster care in the state.
NEWS
October 9, 2006
The number of foster children receiving federal assistance has dropped significantly over the last decade, and not because they and the families caring for them don't need the financial help. Fewer children are getting assistance because they don't qualify under rules adopted by Congress as part of the 1996 welfare reform law. Those rules tied eligibility for federal foster care assistance to whether a child was removed from a family that qualified for public assistance under the old welfare program known as Aid to Families with Dependent Children, or AFDC.
NEWS
By Howard Altstein and Howard Altstein,Howard Altstein | June 22, 2000
The Supreme Court's ruling supporting Oregon's law allowing adult adoptees access to their birth records may have serious consequences for the future of adoption of American-born children. For decades, the prevailing practice in adoption has been to assure women who wanted to relinquish their newborn infants that, if they did so, their anonymity would be preserved. This promise of anonymity was also given to pregnant women contemplating adoption of their as-yet unborn. Their records would be sealed.
NEWS
October 9, 2006
The number of foster children receiving federal assistance has dropped significantly over the last decade, and not because they and the families caring for them don't need the financial help. Fewer children are getting assistance because they don't qualify under rules adopted by Congress as part of the 1996 welfare reform law. Those rules tied eligibility for federal foster care assistance to whether a child was removed from a family that qualified for public assistance under the old welfare program known as Aid to Families with Dependent Children, or AFDC.
NEWS
October 2, 2006
Maryland's child welfare agency, like others around the country facing rising costs, collects Social Security and other federal benefits received by children in foster care to help defray the state's cost of caring for them. Some children's advocates have rightly questioned this practice of converting the benefits of needy children into a source of state funding, rather than using it to subsidize much-needed additional foster care services. We believe the money collected - about $100 million annually nationwide - should be used for more supportive services and increased payments to woefully underpaid foster parents.
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