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More Schools Are Being Gifted Free Washing Machines From Whirlpool So Kids Don’t Skip School

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ByGood News Network
Education has a laundry problem. According to teachers nationwide, one in five students struggle with access to clean clothes, which leads to students missing school—and those kids who miss school are seven times more likely to drop out.

When the Whirlpool laundry brand heard about this hidden problem of chronic absenteeism, it decided to break down this barrier to attendance by providing schools access to clean clothes—and it’s actually working.

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After Abuse Allegations, Oregon Brings Back Foster Kids Sent Out of State

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‘We jumped in without knowing what we were getting into,’ said state Sen. Sara Gelser, a Democrat who has led the effort to bring the children back to Oregon. Photo: Thomas Patterson for The Wall Street Journal

By Zusha Elinson
Oct. 14, 2019 5:30 am ET

Foster children in Oregon who were sent to privately run group homes out of state are now being brought back following numerous allegations of abuse.

Oregon is one of several states that in recent years began relying on faraway residential treatment centers to house children with severe behavioral and psychiatric issues for whom adequate care couldn’t be found nearby. But the state’s child welfare agency didn’t regularly monitor their treatment and now two of the largest companies in the field have closed down facilities in Utah and Montana after staff members were accused of physical abuse and frequent use of drug injections to control the children, according to state regulators.

In Oregon, the issue has become a flashpoint for the child welfare agency. Lawmakers have held public hearings, Gov. Kate Brown installed a new agency director, and declared the agency in crisis. The reversal, which is also occurring in neighboring Washington, highlights the ways in which states lacking resources for foster children have turned to private companies to handle their most challenging cases without providing much oversight.

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Agencies at Odds Over Release of Caseworker Policy

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Two state agencies are at odds over whether investigations that find child and family services caseworkers failed to follow policies and procedures should be made public.

By Associated Press, Wire Service Content Oct. 9, 2019, at 12:14 p.m.

MISSOULA, Mont. (AP) — Two state agencies are at odds over whether investigations that find Division of Child and Family Services caseworkers failed to follow policies and procedures should be made public.

If the Child and Family Services Ombudsman’s office investigates a complaint and determines caseworkers didn’t follow policy, a “findings report” is sent to the director of the Department of Public Health and Human Services.

The ombudsman’s office, which is part of the Department of Justice, argues the reports should be made public after all identifying information is removed. The health department argues Child and Family Services case records are confidential.

The agencies plan to ask a judge for a decision on the matter, the Missoulian reports.
DOJ spokesman John Barnes said the agency could file its petition as soon as this week.

“We will give the court a sampling of the reports for review and make our case why they are public,” Barnes said.
Jon Ebelt, spokesman for the health department, said the ombudsman’s office is also subject to confidentiality laws and disclosure restrictions.

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Agencies tussle over release of reports involving child neglect, abuse

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EVE BYRON [email protected] Oct 5, 2019

PHOTO: The Department of Public Health and Human Services building in Helena.
HOLLY K. MICHELS, [email protected]

Two state agencies are squaring off over the release of investigative reports that say health department employees have not followed the proper policies and procedures when trying to protect children from alleged neglect and abuse — sometimes to the detriment of the child and family.
In its five years of existence, the ombudsman’s office has shared 42 “Findings Reports” with the Department of Public Health and Human Services outlining problems that include Child and Family Service Division employees:
• Misleading court officials who in one case removed a child from the mother’s care and released the child to the father, who relapsed his substance abuse while the child was in his care. Meanwhile, the mother was given “arbitrary and unreasonable expectations” of steps needed to regain custody.

• Punishing a mother by reducing visiting time despite a court order to the contrary, with the employee “indicat(ing) joy at reducing the mother’s visits.”
• Placing a child in a stranger’s care, even though multiple family members were available.
• Placing four children with their noncustodial father after an unexplained injury to the youngest child. At the time, the father was suspended from his job due to allegations of sexual assault. The Child and Family Service Division didn’t investigate that allegation or follow up on it.
In May, the Montana Department of Justice told the Missoulian that the “Findings Reports” created by its Division of Criminal Investigation’s ombudsman’s office, would be posted on its website once identifying information was removed. The Findings Reports are responses to concerns from the public about the handling of cases by the Department of Health and Human Services (DPHHS).

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Montana foster care system faces crisis with lack of licensed parents

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Rachel Louise Just Apr 18, 2019

BOZEMAN – As drug and alcohol addiction continues to plague tens of thousands in the Treasure State, children are going without homes as the foster care system reaches a breaking point. There are 4000 children in foster care throughout the state of Montana, and that number is growing.
“Basically, we kind of have a foster care crisis in Montana,” says Lily Hawks, Family Development Coordinator at nonprofit Youth Dynamics. “The biggest reason kids are going into foster care is largely due to the drug and alcohol use, which causes abuse and neglect.”

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