High Stakes, Silent Systems: Foster Youth and Reproductive Health

On this week’s podcast we discuss some of the figures in the biennial report on state-by-state child welfare spending from Child Trends. Also: looming deadlines on “Family Miranda” laws in two states and a Supreme Court case on ICWA, and more. 

Imprint reporter Michael Fitzgerald joins to talk about his investigative reporting looking into sexual and reproductive health policies for foster youth, an issue brought into sharp focus last year when the Supreme Court overturned Roe v. Wade.


Michael Fitzgerald a senior reporter covering state and federal child welfare and youth justice. He was previously an editor for Pacific Standard Magazine, and his writing has appeared in the New Republic, Vice, Outside and other outlets. Fitzgerald is a graduate of Carnegie Mellon University in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania.


Child Welfare Financing Survey SFY 2020

San Bernardino Foster Youth File Class-Action Lawsuit

Texas Bill To Increase Rights for Parents Under Investigation Passes State House and Senate

Another Try for Legislation In New York Giving Parents ‘Miranda’ Rights During CPS Investigations

California’s Santa Clara County Aims to Keep Girls Out of Juvenile Lockups

Four California Counties Join Effort to End the Incarceration of Girls

High Stakes, Silent Systems
A three-part investigation on sexual and reproductive health in foster care.

Surprising Findings on Aging Out, Removal Reasons and More

This week we discuss the race between Texas and New York to pass the first “Family Miranda” bill for child welfare investigations, clergy as mandated reporters, and the 28th state to ban juvenile life without parole sentences. 

Serita Cox of iFoster joins to discuss some of the most interesting results from the organization’s second annual foster care survey, including some notable responses from current and former foster youth about reunification or adoption

Guest Interview Details

Serita Cox is the co-founder of iFoster, which uses a free platform to ensure that every child growing up outside of their biological home has the resources and opportunities they need to become successful. Before launching iFoster in 2010, Cox spent more than a decade consulting on technology and management in the Bay Area.

Reading Room

Texas Should Tell Parents Their Rights When It Investigates Child Abuse Claims, Lawmaker Proposes https://bit.ly/3ooLNSy ‘Miranda Warning’-style Bill for Parents Fails in New York City Council https://bit.ly/3GYmtGz States Weigh Child Abuse Reporting vs. Clergy’s Duty of Confidentiality https://bit.ly/3IsyNCk Minnesota Abolishes Juvenile Life-Without-Parole Sentences https://eji.org/news/minnesota-abolishes-juvenile-life-without-parole-sentences/ Gov. Walz Signs Bill to End Use of Juvenile Solitary Confinement https://bit.ly/43eBtLE Voice of The Foster Care Community https://voiceoffostercare.org/

Unbelievably Resilient

Institute for Family and Unbelievably Resilient (formerly FosterStrong) have allied together to amplify the voices of alumni of foster care and help change prevailing narratives surrounding youth who’ve experienced out-of-home placement. On the Unbelievably Resilient podcast, alumni of foster care offer a safe space to commune, laugh, and share stories of resilience.

Resilient Voices & Beyond

The mission of the Resilient Voices & Beyond podcast is to create a platform for the voices that were once silenced to be heard and received. We aim to showcase the hard work of community partners, leaders, advocates, activists, stakeholders, state and federal government agencies, policymakers, and legislatures, while empowering a new generation of foster care alum leaders. Through our podcast, we strive to educate our listeners on reforms, advocacy, policies, prevention, foster care, adoption, kinship, CCIs, JJ, and the child welfare system, while challenging and breaking away from the stigmas and labels surrounding these topics. We aim to create a dialogue on reform and advocacy that is already happening or needs to happen, ensuring that the voices of those affected by the child welfare system are heard and valued.

The Children’s Law Podcast

Welcome to the Children’s Law Podcast brought to you by True North Child Advocates. Our goal is to empower children’s lawyers to help abused and neglected children get home faster. Listen as we discuss practical tips, our unique permanency-focused practice philosophy, and topics of interest for any child welfare professional working to improve outcomes for kids.

Planning for Success, Not Survival

In this episode, Jim and Angela discuss using case plans to ensure the state agency is preparing your teen client for successful adulthood, rather than just meeting federal requirements for youth aging out of the child welfare system.

Meet Tori

Meet Tori, as she shares on her transformation from her time as a track star in the system to transcending the confines of burdensome stereotypes, to writing and publishing her own book and to raising her own family. Tori says her faith grounds her, but her outlook on life has her eyes to the sky. Tune in to inspire yourself to let your own inner flame glow brighter.

When Your Client is a Survivor of Sex Trafficking

This interview starts with Prof. Emma Hetherington explaining why she thinks a huge barrier to effectively serving HT/CSEC populations is that stakeholders don’t fully understand what trafficking is. In this powerful podcast, Prof. Hetherington, from the Wilbanks Child Endangerment and Sexual Exploitation Clinic at University of Georgia School of Law (CEASE Clinic), reveals how children’s circumstances and behaviors need to be examined differently when exploitation and trafficking issues are involved. She discusses tips for attorneys representing HT/CSEC survivors, screening tools, the harm reduction approach, and how to build trust with youth. We hope you learn as much as we did! Here are the resources referenced in the podcast: Red Flags of CSEC and Child Trafficking, New York State Office of Children and Family Services: https://ocfs.ny.gov/programs/human-trafficking/assets/docs/red-flags-of-CSEC-and-child-trafficking.pdf Trust-Based Relational Intervention: https://child.tcu.edu/blog-tbri-ffpsa/#sthash.c5E1aPKh.dpbs For a deep dive, check out these resources: How can the child welfare system protect young people from commercial sexual exploitation?, Casey Family Programs Strategy Brief (November 2022): https://www.casey.org/media/22.07-QFF-SC-CSEC-update.pdf Child Sex Trafficking Warning Signs, Shared Hope International: http://sharedhope.org/wp-content/uploads/2019/05/General-Warning-Signs.pdf Summary of Screening Tools: https://www.acf.hhs.gov/sites/default/files/documents/opre/IAHT%20Screening%20Brief%204.22.pdf Criminalized Survivors: Today’s Abuse to Prison Pipeline for Girls (April 2023): https://genderjusticeandopportunity.georgetown.edu/wp-content/uploads/2023/04/Criminalized-Survivors_Georgetown-Gender-Justice.pdf Sexual Abuse to Prison Pipeline: The Girls’ Story (2020): https://genderjusticeandopportunity.georgetown.edu/wp-content/uploads/2020/06/The-Sexual-Abuse-To-Prison-Pipeline-The-Girls%E2%80%99-Story.pdf Harm Reduction Series Introduction, California Child Trafficking Response Unit (2018): https://www.courts.ca.gov/documents/BTB25-3E-01.pdf Harm Reduction Series Caregiver, California Child Trafficking Response Unit (2022): https://file.lacounty.gov/SDSInter/lac/1125790_CaregiverHarmReductionI-31_22.pdf

Congregate Care and Family First, Part 2

Last week we talked to Keri Richmond, manager of child welfare policy for the American Academy of Pediatrics (AAP), about a 50-state look at the new federal rules prompted by the Family First Prevention Services act around the use of group homes, residential programs and other forms of congregate care.

On this week’s podcast we talk to Jim Czarniak about a deep dive on the same topic that focused on New York. Czarniak’s work surfaced very similar findings to the national review done by AAP.

Guest Interview Details

Jim Czarniak spent the past 20 years working in the nonprofit and government sectors. Most recently he was the deputy commissioner for the Onondaga County Department of Children and Family Services, and before that worked as director of juvenile justice for the county.

Reading Room

Eighteen Months Later: New York Family First Implementation Shows Little Change for Foster Care Youth Placed in Group Care https://bit.ly/3H1oDb1 Family First Implementation: A One Year Review of State Progress in Reforming Congregate Care https://bit.ly/3L5m3Do Implementing the Family First Prevention Services Act https://bit.ly/3A4L9vQ The Imprint’s Complete Guide to the Family First Act https://imprintnews.org/special-series/complete-guide-the-family-first-act

Meet Lino

Meet Lino, a man of many words. Tune in as he speaks on the art of metaphors and the power they have to paint an image of yourself, the beauty of words, and the importance of showing up as your full self in all spaces. Tune in to hear more on the challenge that is filling up your own cup while you pour into the cups of the people around you.

Sexual Assault Awareness Month

Today, I’ll be speaking with my T1D diabestie, Dalyce Wilson about sexual assault. We delve into our lives experiences, how sexual assault impacts our daily lives, and what we believe people can do to make the world a safer place for us all.

Congregate Care and Family First, Part 1

On this week’s podcast we discuss a new California law that grants more time for reunifying families in some child welfare cases; the ever-worsening situation in Los Angeles juvenile facilities; and Congress takes an interest in kids that run away from foster care. 

Keri Richmond, manager of child welfare policy for the American Academy of Pediatrics, joins to discuss AAP’s recent assessment of the new limits on federal funding for group homes, residential care and institutions for foster youth. And we chat about the excellent podcast Keri helps produce, Unbelievably Resilient.

Guest Interview Details

Keri Richmond manager of child welfare policy for the American Academy of Pediatrics, and executive director of Unbelievably Resilient.

Reading Room

Eighteen Months Before Losing Your Kid? California Challenges Some Child Welfare Timelines https://bit.ly/41yelH0 ‘Intolerable’ and ‘Appalling’ — Los Angeles County Juvenile Halls Face New Round of Scrutiny https://bit.ly/3UHhLoJ Audit Finds Child Welfare Agencies Often Don’t Report Missing Kids to National Office https://bit.ly/41dIRpR Grassley, Cornyn, Colleagues Introduce Bill To Help Missing Foster Youth https://bit.ly/3mAt4T2 Arizona Kinship Support Services https://bit.ly/43OKHzx Family First Implementation: A One Year Review of State Progress in Reforming Congregate Care https://bit.ly/3L5m3Do Implementing the Family First Prevention Services Act https://bit.ly/3A4L9vQ The Imprint’s Complete Guide to the Family First Act https://imprintnews.org/special-series/complete-guide-the-family-first-act

“Filed Away,” The Struggles with Case Files

In episode two of season three our team discusses the difficulties with obtaining your case files. The hang ups, managing your own expectations, and rewriting the stories you read about your past. If you find yourself wanting to obtain your records or even you are just beginning to consider making the request…we are right there with you. Privacy and protection standards vary across the country and as you will hear, it’s not always a straight forward process; and sometimes it leads to disappointment. How do we keep building our story if there are many gaps in the history? Tune in to find out.

What’s Next for Your Teen Client?

In this episode, Angela, John and Jim talk about understanding your teen client, helping them set goals for their future, some ways to help them stay on track, and navigating the ups and downs when representing older youth.

Listening to Lived Expertise

In episode one of season three we dive into the art of storytelling and the vulnerability that comes with it. Acknowledging the pain and gently moving beyond it into the realm of power. How do we know we are ready to share? Listen in as our teammates kick us off with tips, tricks, and things to prepare for when you decide to share your life of resilience with others.

An Inside Look at the Foster Care System, with Ethan Demme

Welcome back to the EPPiC Broadcast, season 6! We’re kicking off our season by talking with Ethan Demme, President and CEO of Demme Learning, and member of the Parental Rights Foundation Board. Ethan is also an elected member of the board of supervisors in East Lampeter Township (Pennsylvania). As a foster and adoptive parent, Ethan explains how children are often brought into the foster care system and how we can better care for children in the system. Even though some children need to be removed from their parents for their safety, parents and children being reunited is the best outcome for most families that enter the child welfare system. However, many parents who lose their children find themselves without the support that they need to successfully work their case plans and get their children back, and in many states the child welfare system prioritizes the needs of the bureaucracy itself over the needs of parents and children. Ethan also tells us about reforms that would help the foster care system and improve outcomes for parents and children. Plus, Ethan tells us more about his curriculum company, Demme Learning, which provides learning curriculum to homeschool families, and his efforts as an elected official to help safeguard parental rights.