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CAI Holds Congressional Briefing to Unveil New Report:

Shame on U.S.
Failings by All Three Branches of Our Federal Government Leave
Abused and Neglected Children Vulnerable to Further Harm
January 27, 2015

The federal government's dereliction allows states to fall short on meeting minimum child welfare standards. Below is information specific to Alabama.

CFSR Results Summary: In its Child and Family Services Review (CFSR) process, HHS determines whether each state is in substantial conformity with 7 specific outcomes (pertaining to the areas of safety, permanency and family and child well-being) and 7 systemic factors (relating to the quality of services delivered to children and families and the outcomes they experience).  In the first two rounds of the CFSR, HHS has concluded that Alabama was:

Round 1 (2002)

  • NOT in substantial conformity with 6 of the 7 Outcomes
  • NOT in substantial conformity with 1 of the 7 Systemic Factors

Round 2 (2009)   

  • NOT in substantial conformity with 7 of the 7 Outcomes
  • NOT in substantial conformity with 3 of the 7 Systemic Factors

Although federal law mandates that any state found not to be operating in substantial conformity during an initial or subsequent review must begin a full review within two years after approval of the state's program improvement plan, HHS has announced that Alabama will not undergo Round 3 of the CFSR until FY 2018 (see CFSR Technical Bulletin #7 (March 2014)).


Documents from the U.S. Health & Human Services Children's Bureau

Child Welfare Litigation*

  • R.C. v. Wally
    Bazelon Center for Mental Health Law, Alabama Disabilities Advocacy Program, and Southern Poverty Law Center's challenge to the failure of the Alabama Department of Human Resources (DHR) to preserve the families of and provide treatment to children with emotional or behavior disorders.

*litigation summaries taken from information provided by the National Center for Youth Law

Child Welfare In the News**

  • Alabama officials seeing more drug addicted babies: 'It's not fair to these innocent children'
    (Associated Press - December 21, 2014) Franklin County District Attorney Joey Rushing said increasing numbers of children are becoming innocent victims of drug abuse. He said authorities are arresting more people on chemical endangerment of a child charges, including mothers who give birth to babies with drug dependencies.
  • Stop epidemic of homeless children (Montgomery Advertiser - November 21, 2014) Alabama ranks worst in the nation on issues related to homeless kids in a report from the National Center on Family Homelessness that indexes areas where states are failing their youngest citizens.
  • 275 children in Alabama waiting for adoption (Includes video) (WSFA - November 11, 2014)
    The statistics are alarming for those children who age out of foster care without ever being adopted. According to Children's Aid Society, by the age of 25, 33 percent will receive public assistance, 33 percent will have experienced homelessness, 50 percent will be unemployed, 81 percent of males will have been arrested, 77 percent of females will have had unwed pregnancies.
  • How did the child sex ring surrounding Brittney Wood's disappearance go unnoticed for so long? (Associated Press - November 01, 2014) Authorities are making plea-bargain offers and getting ready for more trials, but questions persist. Perhaps most troubling, why didn't child welfare workers pursue charges following what prosecutors describe as multiple complaints about sexual abuse within the family going back at least six years?
  • Lauderdale County in desperate need of foster families (WAAY - September 17, 2014) A shortage of foster parents in The Shoals has put several children in limbo. Some children are now being sent to other counties, and other states.

**news summaries taken from daily newsfeed service of HHS' Child Welfare Information Gateway


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Children's Advocacy Institute
University of San Diego School of Law
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