Print Media Coverage of Child Fatalities when a Human Services Agency is Involved



When a child dies and we learn that a human services department or agency was involved, how well does the print media cover the story? How accurate and thorough is it? Does the story convey sufficient comprehensiveness and perspective to give the reader a solid understanding of the events? Is there any discernible information bias, either intentional or unintentional? Does the writer seem to have an agenda?

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State and Federal Sexting Laws

This regularly updated fact sheet provides a brief overview and link to each of the state sexting laws.

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Safeguarding Minors From Being Inadvertently “Outed” By Human Service Agencies

Trust has always been the foundation of a human service agency’s relationship with its clients. Subcategories of that trust, privacy and confidentiality, are cemented in statute and regulation. This protection provides the basis for an effective relationship and ensures that agency officials will not disclose information with others unless there is a sanctioned and pressing need to do so. It follows and it is self-compelling that, in general, information regarding an individual's sexual orientation or gender identity is private, unless that person has publicly made it known.

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Mediating Lawsuits Against Human Services Agencies

The vast majority of lawsuits against human services agencies do not go to trial. They are settled, many times through mediation. A mediation is a meeting, typically at the mediator’s office or the office of one of the attorneys, where the mediator assists the parties to resolve their differences so the lawsuit can be settled without going to trial. A mediation is not the same as a hearing or an arbitration. The mediator is an impartial negotiator who has no authority to decide the merits of the case. Instead, the mediator identifies aspects of the case that lend themselves to compromise and helps the parties reach a voluntary resolution. Neither party is coerced or forced to settle the case. If a voluntary settlement cannot not be reached the mediation concludes and the lawsuit continues.

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Social Work and the Courts (3rd edition)

Social Work and the Courts is a collection of important and cutting-edge court decisions in the field of human services, now in its third edition. Pollack and Kleinman present an array of legal cases in everyday language, with clear explanation of the facts and issues, and in-depth examinations of the reasoning and implications of each verdict. This new edition includes over twenty new cases, all of which happened between 2010 and 2014, making this one of the most significant and timely investigations of how social work and the law intersect. Special attention is paid to recent rulings in child welfare and social worker liability. The dissection and analysis of these influential cases makes this volume an excellent teaching tool and an essential resource for both social workers and policy makers.

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Red Flag the Red-flag Case Notes or Face Disaster

Child welfare systems — federal, state, county or city — contain vast repositories of information. Each time a case is opened, worked on or closed, valuable information about children’s needs is recorded — much of it in compliance with a wide assortment of legal requirements. As a result, the department builds a rich history of a child’s life that can be used as an important resource for years. Much case information is electronically recorded: information and experience we refer to as institutional memory. Unfortunately, this institutional memory is only ...

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Seven Avoidable Legal Mistakes CPS Investigators Make

Seven attorneys give their observations and understandings of the avoidable legal missteps that child protective services investigators take: CPS interviewers sometimes view a child's anti-social or hurtful behavior as evidence that the child is not a trustworthy reporter of abuse. Assuming that the CPS investigator will be allowed to testify in place of the child at a criminal trial is an avoidable legal mistake. Even though CPS investigators are invariably well-meaning, they tend to form an opinion quickly as they investigate a case and to neglect alterna...

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