Nebraska Supreme Court: Ban on Gay Foster Parents Is Indistinguishable From a “Whites Only” Sign

In 1995, Nebraska issued the notorious Memo 1-95, which prohibited same-sex couples from fostering children. The policy barred same-sex couples from adopting children as well; under state law, individuals may adopt kids from state care only if they have first been licensed as foster parents—which Memo 1-95 made impossible for “persons who identify themselves as homosexuals.”   In 2013, three same-sex couples, represented by the ACLU and Sullivan & Cromwell, filed a lawsuit alleging that the ban violated of their constitutional rights. Nebraska appealed to the state Supreme Court. On Friday, the Nebraska Supreme Court unanimously rejected the state’s appeal, affirming the lower court decision.

Read the complete article here.

Tax season is here!

Tax season is here! Our FAQs have been revised to help foster and adoptive parents find answers to common questions about social security numbers and tax deductions. Look under the resources tab to find the FAQs.

Breaking News: 4 L.A. County social workers to stand trial in horrific death of 8-year-old boy

When a county child welfare agency fails to protect a child like Gabriel, there is actually a legal mechanism available to all of us to challenge the county’s decision and bring a child at risk directly to the attention of the juvenile court.  His teacher could have filed a simple court form called the JV-210 and asked the juvenile court judge to review the county’s decision not to take protective action, see the form and details here.   The JV-210 form should be something every foster parent, teach, and child advocate knows how to use.  Next time a teacher’s or any child advocate’s concerns fall on deaf ears, ;et’s hope they know that they can file a JV-210 to ask the judge to review a county welfare agency decision.
Los Angeles Times
March 20, 2017

A Los Angeles County judge ruled today that four social workers should stand trial on charges of criminal negligence in the death of an 8-year-old Palmdale boy they were charged with protecting, allowing prosecutors to push ahead with a case that has sent a chill through the ranks of child protection workers nationwide..

Read the complete article here.

Weekend Miracles: How an International Adoption Recruitment Strategy Helps Parents for Children in Foster Care

Weekend Miracles Los Angeles, now entering its second decade, offers a unique and proven approach to creating forever families and lasting connections for adolescents who are languishing in foster care in Los Angeles.  Since the program’s official launch in 2006, Weekend Miracles has been a resounding success, having recruited adopt families, legal guardians, and lasting connections for 75 percent of participating children.

Download the complete article written by Deborah Dentler here.

California Law to Close Group Homes Stresses Importance of Family for Every Foster Kid

In 2017, California’s group homes will be shutting down— or changing, at the very least — in the wake of new legislation passed in September 2015. The measure aims to move the state’s foster care system toward encouraging family-based placements for all foster children.

Critics of the bill argue that closing group homes will hurt kids in a system that already suffers from too few foster care beds, and that tough-to-place kids who may have behavioral issues but don’t meet the “clinical need” qualifications will be especially affected.  Read more here.

Foster Families Share Their Stories of Love and Loss

“Foster care changes a person,” wrote Stephanie Bennington, a former foster child from Fremont, Neb., after we asked readers to send us their foster care stories. The stories came in response to “Losing a Foster Child,” the most recent essay by Meghan Moravcik Walbert, who chronicled the time her family spent with the foster child she nicknamed BlueJay. Read the full article including comments by Deborah Dentler here.

Improving Care for Foster Children

Jessica, my first foster child, whom I last saw 14 years ago, emailed me out of the blue. She was barely nine then, and I was surprised to hear from her as I had never given her my email address.

My husband and I had thought of Jessica and her younger sister Nicole many times since they left our home in 2002 to be reunified with their family. Jessica (8 years old at time of placement) and her sister Nicole (18 months) were our first foster children, as well as the first children we ever parented. (Read more here.) Article by Shannon Hernandez, American Bar Association.

‘It’s not supposed to be this way’: Why it’s getting more difficult for foster families

Foster care asks caregivers to perform an almost impossible task: Love the child as your own, but relinquish the youth without delay or protest when social workers say the time has come. Read complete Los Angeles Times article by Contact Reporter: Garrett Therof here.

NACAC Is Offering a Webinar on the Adoption Tax Credit – February 2nd

On February 2nd at 2pm central (3pm eastern, 1pm mountain, noon pacific), NACAC’s adoption tax credit expert, Josh Kroll, will present a webinar on the federal adoption tax credit.  Participants will learn the steps they need to take to file for 2015, but it will also cover applying for the credit for adoptions as far back as 2012.  Josh will explain what parents need to do to take advantage of the credit.

The webinar is $15 for NACAC members and $20 for non-members. Payment is accepted by credit card or PayPal.

Register for the webinar here.


Scholarships available for the NACAC Conference

NACAC LogoLos Angeles County DCFS has a limited number of scholarships available for select parents and workers to attend the NACAC conference — Thursday, July 30 to Saturday, August 1, with an all-day pre-conference session by Dr. Dan Siegel on Wednesday, July 29.

Scholarships are available on a first-come, first-served basis.

Click here for information on all the sessions, the conference schedule.

Scholarships are open to parents who meet at least one of the following criteria:

Parent Scholarships:

  • Are adoptive parents who adopted through Los Angeles County DCFS or a Foster Family Agency serving the county
  • Are state-licensed (not certified) foster parents serving Los Angeles County
  • Are relative or non-relative extended family member (NREFM) caregivers serving children through Los Angeles County DCFS

NACAC Resource Parent Scholarship Registration Form

DCFS Staff Scholarships:

The DCFS staff scholarships are open to all staff of Los Angeles County DCFS. The scholarship covers registration fees for the pre-conference session by Dr. Dan Siegel on Wednesday, July 29, and registration for the conference on Thursday and Friday. It does not cover Saturday’s workshops or luncheon, although attendees can pay their own way to attend on Saturday if they’d like.

NACAC DCFS Staff Scholarship Registration Form