Big Questions for Child Welfare: How Do We Get Upstream?

Last updated: 03-28-2021

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Big Questions for Child Welfare: How Do We Get Upstream?

Big Questions for Child Welfare: How Do We Get Upstream?
The Imprint Weekly Podcast is releasing bonus episodes featuring our publisher, Daniel Heimpel, and Molly Tierney, the child welfare lead at Accenture and former child welfare director for Baltimore.
On this episode, the two friends discuss  the growing call for child welfare to paddle “upstream,” investing more money in keeping families together and less on splitting them apart. What will it take to improve our prevention of abuse and neglect in America? And should that work be done by child welfare agencies, other parts of government, or something entirely different?
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Guest Interview
Daniel Heimpel is the founder of Fostering Media Connections and the publisher of The Imprint. Molly Tierney is the child welfare lead for Accenture, and the former child welfare director for the City of Baltimore.
Episode Archive
On this week’s podcast, we discuss Washington’s limitations on life without parole, “raising the floor” on juvenile arrests, rules of the road for foster youth COVID relief and prioritizing foster parents for vaccines.
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Guest Interview
Dorothy Roberts, director of the University of Pennsylvania’s Program on Race, Science & Society, wrote Shattered Bonds: The Color of Child Welfare two decades ago. At the time, she proposed abolishing the field as we know it, to be replaced by an entirely new system.
Today, she now longer believes that a system can work at all in a way that ensures justice for poor or Black families in America. She joins us to talk about the abolition movement in child welfare and the “non-reformist reforms” that she thinks can move the country in that direction.
Reading Room
On this week’s podcast, we break down the major child and family provisions in the $1.9 trillion stimulus package signed by President Biden last week, including a major guaranteed income program for parents.
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Guest Interview
Dave Newell, CEO of the Children’s Home Society of Washington, joins us to discuss a year of pandemic for an organization with services ranging from Head Start and home visiting to foster care.
Reading Room
The American Rescue plan puts us on a pathway to end child poverty within a generation if… http://bit.ly/2Q1oWLj
Pandemic Support for Foster Youth Still Delayed, Months After Federal Action
Big Questions for Child Welfare: The Biden Agenda
Over the next few weeks, we will be releasing bonus episodes on Thursdays that will be conversations between The Imprint’s publisher Daniel Heimpel and Molly Tierney, the child welfare lead at Accenture and former director of Baltimore’s child welfare system.
On today’s episode, Tierney and Heimpel talk about the Biden administration, which succeeds an erratic period for child welfare in America under former President Donald Trump. The Trump administration is responsible for intentionally separating families at the nation’s Southern border, and for proposals that would gut the social safety net. It also unleashed federal resources for legal support to system-involved parents and children, and expanded federal child welfare spending to include much more money for efforts to keep families together.
Tierney and Heimpel talk about what a good comprehensive agenda for child welfare under Biden could mean.
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Guest Interview
Daniel Heimpel is the founder of Fostering Media Connections and the publisher of The Imprint. Molly Tierney is the child welfare lead for Accenture, and the former child welfare director for the City of Baltimore.
03/08/2021
On this week’s podcast we discuss testing universal basic income for youth aging out of the foster care system, a Minnesota law aimed at addressing race disproportionality, and the new head of the U.S. Children’s Bureau.
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Big Questions for Child Welfare: Racial Bias and Caseworker Training
Over the next few weeks, we will be releasing bonus episodes on Thursdays that will be conversations between The Imprint’s publisher Daniel Heimpel and Molly Tierney, the child welfare lead at Accenture and former director of Baltimore’s child welfare system.
On today’s episode they discuss racial biases and the child welfare workforce with Karen Baynes-Dunning, acting president of the Southern Poverty Law Center and former juvenile court judge. The three explore interesting lessons on this issue learned from testing of a virtual caseworker training platform.
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Guest Interview
Daniel Heimpel is the founder of Fostering Media Connections and the publisher of The Imprint. Molly Tierney is the child welfare lead for Accenture, and the former child welfare director for the City of Baltimore. Karen Bayens-Dunning is a former juvenile court judge and the acting president of the Southern Poverty Law Center.
02/22/2021
Building the Case for Rewiring Child Welfare
On this week’s episode we discuss new access to birth certificates for adoptees in New York with reporter Michael Fitzgerald, more job training efforts for system-involved teens and young adults in California and Nevada, and a national campaign to end the use of solitary confinement for youth.
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BONUS PODCAST: Reform is the Destination. Tech is the Road
Improving casework. Identifying and addressing racial disproportionality and disparity. Reducing the use of foster care. More knowledge about what works to prevent abuse and neglect.
Whatever you think is the most pressing reform in child welfare, technology is a key facet of solving the problem. In December, The Imprint hosted an online discussion about technology’s critical role in improving the child welfare system.
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Guest Interview
The Imprint was joined for this discussion by Molly Tierney, child welfare industry lead for Accenture, and Scooter Ward, former deputy chief information officer of the Washington, D.C. Child and Family Services Agency
01/11/2021
Ending Homelessness for Youth Leaving Foster Care
2020 was the first full year for the Foster Youth to Independence initiative (FYI), which helps secure stable housing and self-sufficiency services for young adults aging out of foster care.
This week’s podcast was recorded live on Zoom in early December, and features a discussion about FYI’s first year and what comes next as the initiative recently became enshrined into law.
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Guest Interview
We’re joined for the conversation about Foster Youth to Independence by Ruth White and Jamole Callahan, two chief architects of the initiative, and Love Williams, an early participant in the initiative.
01/04/2021
The Pandemic’s Heartbreaking Toll on Separated Families
On this week’s podcast we discuss the child welfare package passed by Congress as part of the coronavirus relief deal, new studies on life after foster care, and a temporary fix in Ohio on kinship support.
BONUS: This episode features music from the Unsung program, which helps youth in juvenile settings learn to perform, record and produce songs.
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Guest Interview
We’re joined by Melissa Thompson, Melanie Jordan and Cam Lundstrom of the Office of Respondent Parent Counsel in Colorado for a sobering discussion on how the pandemic has impacted the cases of parents with children in foster care.
12/28/2020
This Year on The Imprint Weekly Podcast
Description: It’s been 11 weeks since we launched The Imprint Weekly Podcast. On this episode, Imprint Senior Editor John Kelly and producer Christine Ongjoco have put together a collection of clips from interviews with our first year of guests.
Thanks to everyone who listened, subscribed, or joined us on the podcast in 2020. Happy New Year to all!
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Ohio Medicaid Director Maureen Corcoran
Lisa Ling, host of CNN’s This is Life with Lisa Ling
Daniel Heimpel, publisher of The Imprint
Campaign for Youth Justice CEO Marcy Mistrett
Sara Tiano, reporter for The Imprint
Nora McCarthy and Jeanette Vega, Rise
12/21/2020
15 Years and Rise-ing
On this week’s podcast we discuss the immediate fallout from The Imprint’s investigation into California’s use of out-of-state youth facilities, the rise in child welfare cases in Los Angeles during the pandemic, rapid testing regulations getting lifted and a big result for the workforce development program Year Up.
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Guest Interview
We’re joined by Nora McCarthy and Jeanette Vega of Rise, a New York City organization dedicated to supporting parents involved in child welfare cases, about the organization’s first 15 years in the world.
12/13/2020
On this week’s podcast, we discuss the major investigation of California’s use of an embattled for-profit to care for kids out of state, trendlines since New York “raised the age,” and a new foster youth film channel.
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Guest Interview
We’re joined by Campaign for Youth Justice CEO Marcy Mistrett to discuss the end of the campaign, which closes its doors this month, and the past 15 years in the fight to keep youth out of adult courts and facilities.
12/06/2020
On this week’s podcast we discuss the potential legislative aftermath of a suicide in a Wisconsin juvenile facility, new Family First Act approvals, and how a rapid home-testing strategy could affect juvenile justice and child welfare systems.
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Guest Interview
We’re joined by renowned journalist Lisa Ling and Imprint Publisher Daniel Heimpel to discuss Ling’s recent documentary covering the crossroads of opioid addiction and child welfare in her ongoing CNN documentary series.
11/30/2020
Moving Upstream on Child Mental Health
On this week’s podcast we discuss the soaring cost of incarceration in New York’s juvenile justice system, a landmark settlement on how child welfare agencies support disabled parents, and a new tutoring plan available for thousands of foster youth in the country.
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Guest Interview
We’re joined by Ohio Medicaid Director Maureen Corcoran to talk about her state’s new plan to change mental health services for youth and young adults and prevent unnecessary child welfare and foster care cases.
11/24/2020
Can California Erase Racism at Trial?
Description: On this week’s podcast we cover a lawsuit over equal support for relative caregivers in Ohio, LGBTQ youth in foster care, how foster homes are doing during the coronavirus pandemic, and New Jersey’s stimulus relief for older youth in care.
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Guest Interview
We’re joined by California State Assemblymember Ash Kalra about his California Racial Justice Act, which was recently signed into law by Governor Gavin Newsom and attempts to provide what might be an unprecedented check on racial bias during trials and at sentencing.
11/16/2020
Measuring Family Separation, and the Biden Child Welfare Agenda
On this week’s podcast we provide an overview of the Who Cares project, The Imprint’s annual data collection on foster youth and foster homes in America. We also discuss some local and state election results, and what’s going on with the Biden transition team. 
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Guest Interview
We’re joined by Melissa Carter, executive director of the Barton Child Law and Policy Center at Emory University, and Andy Barclay, statistician for the group Fostering Court Improvement, to discuss a new metric to track family separation in America. Imprint columnist Vivek Sankaran joins to discuss what he hopes a Biden-Harris child welfare policy will look like.
11/09/2020
A Pandemic Plan To Keep Foster Youth Plugged In
On this week’s podcast we cover state and local ballot measures with big consequences for children and families, the Fulton v. City of Philadelphia Supreme Court case, and an interesting new program in Ohio aimed at preventing parents from relinquishing custody of their kids. 
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Guest Interview
Our guest this week is Serita Cox, co-founder of iFoster, on how her organization fueled a partnership that produced thousands of laptops and cell phones for current and former foster youth whose educations were disrupted by the coronavirus pandemic.
11/02/2020
The Abolitionists
On this week’s podcast we look at a few interesting ballot initiatives that voters will decide on tomorrow, the plan to rewrite juvenile justice in Los Angeles, and how child support is used by states to offset the cost of welfare and foster care. 
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Guest Interview
Alan Dettlaff and Kristen Weber, co-founders of the upEND Movement, join us to talk about how the campaign came together and what they mean by seeking the abolition of the modern child welfare system.
10/26/2020
Detained for Skipping Schoolwork
It’s a reporter-palooza! Journalist Roxanna Asgarian joins Senior Editor John Kelly to discuss her recent investigative report for The Imprint about the culture of silence on abuse inside Texas child welfare facilities. We also discuss Florida and privatization, and the recent spate of settlements in child welfare class-action lawsuits.
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Guest Interview
ProPublica reporter Jodi Cohen joins us to discuss her story from the summer about a Michigan teenager who was locked up by a juvenile court judge for skipping a virtual class. Cohen’s piece is perhaps now the most famous example of a long-debated federal policy: the “valid court order exception.”
10/19/2020
We discuss the issue of credit for schoolwork done in juvenile justice facilities, plans for a universal suicide screening for foster youth and expansion of a homelessness prevention plan for young adults aging out of care.
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Guest Interview
Sharon McDaniel, founder of A Second Chance, Inc. and president of the group Black Administrators in Child Welfare, joins us to discuss child welfare in the time of coronavirus and what it means for a system to be “anti-racist.”
10/12/2020
In the inaugural episode of The Imprint Weekly Podcast, Senior Editor John Kelly discussed the coronavirus relief package, a new state joining the Family First Act, and the looming end to California’s notorious state-run juvenile prisons.
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