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Many say now is the time to fight racial bias in foster care | By DAVID CRARY AP National Writer

Black children have long suffered from racial disparities in the U.S. foster care system Cheri Williams looks back with regret at the start of her career as a child welfare caseworker in 1998. Systemic racism is a major reason why. “I removed probably about 100 kids from their homes in the 15 months I was an investigator … a lot of them were children of color,” said Williams, who's now a vice president of one of the largest adoption and foster care agencies in the United States. “Decades...

Basic Rights in Special Education - 4/14/21 @ 6PM

Whether you’re new to special education or have been involved for a while, this workshop is for you. This presentation provides families with an introduction to their rights and responsibilities as parents of children with special needs under the Individuals with Disabilities Education Act (IDEA), the New Jersey Code, and Section 504 of the Vocational Rehabilitation Act. Parents begin to identify dreams and goals for their children, understand laws and learn advocacy strategies that will...

In the Child Welfare System, Black Families Should Matter

Steve Volk | NextCity.org Reimagining a foster care system that errs on the side of protecting children, but disproportionately investigates and punishes Black families more for economic hardship than harm. EDITOR’S NOTE: This is Part One of a two-part series in the “Our Kids” reporting project. Our Kids is a project of the Broke in Philly reporting collaborative that examines the challenges and opportunities facing Philadelphia’s foster care system. (See also Part Two, “Can Racial Bias Be...

A Novel Effort to See How Poverty Affects Young Brains

By Alla Katsnelson | NY Times An emerging branch of neuroscience asks a question long on the minds of researchers. Recent stimulus payments make the study more relevant. New monthly payments in the pandemic relief package have the potential to lift millions of American children out of poverty. Some scientists believe the payments could change children’s lives even more fundamentally — via their brains. It’s well established that growing up in poverty correlates with disparities in...

Advocates push for yearly screenings of NJ students for drugs, depression

Not many young students will volunteer information, unprompted, about feelings of depression or their recent experimentation with drugs. That's why advocates, school employees and lawmakers are pushing for regular screenings of students at the middle- and high-school levels, as long as their parents consent. With a caseload of 400 students, counselor Cristina Puri at Lincoln Park Middle School typically wouldn't end up seeing a troubled student until someone else sensed an issue or the...

Why Atlantic City’s minority neighborhoods are also its most flooded

ANDREW S. LEWIS | NJ Spotlight When Veronica Grant reflects on growing up in the Venice Park section of Atlantic City in the 1970s, regular nuisance flooding isn’t a memory that comes to mind. Yet these days, high tides spill across the neighborhood’s streets and yards so frequently that Grant can’t keep count. Flooding has been a reality in Atlantic City since its founding a century-and-a-half ago, but it has never been as frequent as it is today. Since 1911, the city’s tide station has...

Webinar: Building Resiliency and Understanding Trauma | English & Spanish

This two-hour presentation will focus on understanding and defining trauma and different Trauma Types. This two-hour presentation will focus on understanding and defining trauma and different Trauma Types; recognizing the impact of trauma on the brain; understanding Child Traumatic Stress (CTS), Adverse Childhood Experiences (ACEs) and Adverse Community Experiences and Resilience (ACE|R); learning about resiliency and being trauma-informed. CEUs or certificates are not offered for this...

It’s called ‘the pandemic wall’ and it mostly affects children, psychologists say

JEN URSILLO | NJ1015 It's been over a year since the COVID-19 pandemic began and kids are hitting a breaking point that many developmental psychologists have coined "the pandemic wall." The pandemic wall refers to cognitive overload, said Jaime Arlia, vice president of Children and Family Services at CarePlus NJ. Kids have hit the point where their bodies and brains just can't take it anymore. They're exhausted and worn out. They're taking the brunt of this because their capacities were...

What I’ve learned this year: A North Jersey epidemiologist reflects | Opinion

For much of the past few weeks, I’ve been asked to comment on what we have learned as we mark the pandemic’s one-year anniversary from the perspective of an epidemiologist. But I’ve yet to be asked to comment on what I, personally, have learned. When I contemplated that question, I’m deeply, deeply saddened that collectively, we have learned new terms like epidemiology, rate of transmission, and case-fatality rate; but we haven’t come to terms with the fact that we are a country built on...

Maternal Health in New Jersey: Pursuing Equity Through Systemic Change

About this Event Alarmingly, in the United States mothers are dying at the highest rate in the developed world with the crisis being most severe for Black moms, who are dying at 3 to 4 times the rate of their white counterparts. In New Jersey, Black mothers may be nearly twice as likely as white mothers to die from pregnancy-related complications and Black babies nearly three times as likely as white babies to die before their first birthdays. To address these tragic realities, initiatives...

Video: We Came To Heal Documentary

Great documentary. Please watch, share your thoughts, reactions and ways we can build healing communities here in NJ. This video shows in detail how we infuse language, pedagogy and praxis to move individuals and community healing. We Came to Heal” follows H.O.L.L.A!’s Healing Justice Movement - over a three years period capturing Healing Justice circles, the Healing Justice Summits and H.O.L.L.A!’ s human healing-centered praxis led by The Youth Organizing Collective (Y.O.C). We believe to...

Maternal Health in New Jersey: Pursuing Equity Through Systemic Change

You are invited to attend: NJ Spotlight News Virtual Roundtable: Maternal Health in New Jersey: Pursuing Equity Through Systemic Change Thursday, April 1, 2021 from 4:00 PM - 5:15 PM Online via teleconferencing This will be an online event only. Please register to have a teleconferencing link emailed to you Thursday, 4/1, at 3pm with a repeat send at 4pm. Alarmingly, in the United States mothers are dying at the highest rate in the developed world with the crisis being most severe for Black...

Co-regulation with Kids "At-Risk"-Calming Together

Highlights and thoughts from an article by Howard I. Bath: Calming together: The pathway to self-control Neuroscience shows that humans develop their abilities for emotional self-regulation through connections with reliable caregivers who soothe and model in a process called “co-regulation.” Since many troubled young people have not experienced a reliable, comforting presence, they have difficulty regulating their emotions and impulses. Co-regulation provides a practical model for helping...

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