Sunday, May 5, 2024

NCCPR news and commentary round-up, week ending May 5, 2024

● This roundup typically features a section on how the horror stories go in all directions.  This week, you can read about horror stories in all directions in this one story from the Indianapolis Star – including comment from NCCPR about why it happens. 

● Hey, remember how New York City´s family police agency told the New York Daily News something like: “Well, golly gee, we’d like to stop swiping foster youth’s Social Security benefits and keeping the money for ourselves, but we just can´t figure out how to do it without losing other funding?”  Well, as the Boston Globe reports, we now can add Massachusetts to the growing list of states that have figured out how to do it.  So, tell us New York City Administration for Children´s Services, are you simply too incompetent to know how to give this money back – or do you just want to keep it?

The rest of the news this week is about modest changes for the better:

● Once again, small signs of progress in Minnesota: The Imprint reports that a state legislator and some county family policing agencies are seeking to curb false allegations of “educational neglect” – though some of those efforts remain too entangled with family police agencies.  In fact, a majority of states don’t even have this category, and, as the Vera Institute of Justice made clear in this report more than a decade ago, that is as it should be.

● A small sign of progress in Connecticut: The Hartford Courant reports on a bill, passed unanimously by the state House of Representatives, that would exempt mandatory reporters of child abuse from prosecution for failure to report if they act in good faith. From the story:

“This is a huge move for our districts and our educators,” said Rep. Jeffrey Currey, an East Hartford Democrat who co-chairs the education committee. “They’re making calls for many unnecessary reasons, simply because they are so terrified about losing their jobs.”

Currey added, “You’re a 6 foot 3 guy, and you’re in a classroom, and somebody comes up and gives you a hug. Parts of bodies may just inadvertently happen to touch, and everybody just instantly thinks, ‘I need to cover [myself] and make that phone call.’ … They’re terrified.”

House Speaker Matt Ritter, a Hartford Democrat, added, “And the first thing a lawyer will tell you is to call DCF. Just cover yourself.”

 The CT Mirror, also has a story.

● And a small sign of progress in Colorado where, Collective Colorado reports, state law concerning pregnancy and substance use has become a little less draconian.