Reforming the Juvenile Justice System with Education

Posted by MST Services

AdobeStock_431669533Literacy and incarceration are two words that you don't often hear in the same sentence. When you read those terms, you might feel that they have nothing in common or that they are opposites. But here's what is interesting, despite what you may think, they are closely related and there are many reasons why. The Department of Justice states, "The link between academic failure and delinquency, violence, and crime is welded to reading failure."

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Topics: Juvenile Justice Reform, Child Welfare

LGBTQ+ Teens and the Child Welfare System

Posted by MST Services

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The child welfare system is set up to protect and serve youth who are separated by their legal guardians due to the inability to provide safety, nurturement, or stability. Yet, some adolescents who identify as LGBTQ+ are rejected, neglected, or abused by their family members, forcing them to enter the system. Many of these young people will continue deeper into the system due to disrupted placements, ultimately increasing the risks of childhood trauma.

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Topics: Child Welfare

What Is the Family First Act?

Posted by MST Services

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From 2012 onwards, the number of American children entering foster care has been steadily climbing; in 2016, over 430,000 children were part of the child welfare system, yet over half of U.S. states have seen their foster care capacity decrease during this same time period. The federal government has typically responded to child welfare challenges by increasing funding for foster care, yet in February of 2018, policymakers took a different approach: instead of lending more resources to the system in the historical way, new legislation is focused on the use of evidence-based prevention services to alleviate the need for adolescents to enter out-of-home placements in the first place, and ensuring appropriate settings are used for kids who are in foster care when necessary.

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Topics: Child Welfare

The Child Welfare System and Unstable Education

Posted by MST Services

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A Comfortless Reality

At just one year old, Noel Anaya was separated from his parents and removed from his house in California. Though he was too young to remember leaving his first home, he remembers all the ones that came after— Noel moved through foster placement after foster placement, put in four different families by the time he was eight. Soon, he was sent outside of California, first to Michigan and then to Idaho. “Some foster families were religious and encouraged me to participate in their traditions, which felt strange,” Noel remembers. “I moved around so much, I never felt like I fit in.” Noel’s experience of constant movement, adjustment, and loneliness isn’t merely his own— for many foster children across the country, impermanence is a comfortless reality. And what is one of the most critical, long-term effects of these constant new foster placements? A child’s ability to succeed in school.

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Topics: Child Welfare

Eliminating Child Abuse and Neglect Through Research

Posted by MST Services

Close up of parents looking at their son while lying on a bedIn 2019, there were more than 4.4 million reported incidents of child abuse and neglect in the United States, involving roughly 7.9 million children. These referrals can stem from a range of situations including exploitation, emotional abuse, sexual assault, and physical harm. With cases going unreported during the pandemic, there is certainly much to be done to prevent child abuse and neglect.

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Topics: Child Welfare

Youth Homelessness Is a Growing Reality

Posted by MST Services

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On any given night in the United States, around 41,000 unaccompanied youth and young adults ages 12-25 experience homelessness, along with an estimated 4.2 million young people every year. Many factors lead to adolescents facing this growing issue.

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Topics: Child Welfare, Troubled Youth, COVID-19

Prevention Services for Children and Families Grow in New York City

Posted by MST Services

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Multisystemic Therapy - Prevention (MST-PRV) was designed in response to the unique needs of the NYC child welfare system, the Administration for Children's Services (ACS). MST Services, the purveyor of Multisystemic Therapy and its adaptations, identified the need for a service delivery that could both target challenging behaviors by the youth, while also reducing the risk of abuse or maltreatment.

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Topics: Multisystemic Therapy, Child Welfare

How is the Pandemic Affecting the Foster Care System?

Posted by MST Services

AdobeStock_100207516Every year around 250,000 U.S. children are placed in the foster care system. However, 2020 was a year like no other. So, where does the system stand?

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Topics: Child Welfare, COVID-19

How Virtual Environments are Affecting Youth

Posted by MST Services

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With the world facing many challenges from the 2020 pandemic, the education sector of society comes to mind as one of the biggest overnight transformations. Covid-19 has disrupted the school system in a variety of ways in order to contain the spread of the virus. 87% of the world’s student population has been affected by school closures. Now, educational institutions have transitioned from traditional learning to remote learning or hybrid class settings through phases. This has created an array of obstacles for many children and their families.

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Topics: Child Welfare, COVID-19

A Closer Look at Decreases in Child Abuse Reports During COVID-19

Posted by MST Services

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Home should be a safe haven for many during this pandemic, but for some children it can be a place of fear. The COVID-19 pandemic has brought many life-threatening consequences, including a drop in child abuse reports with many states reporting a drop of as much as 50%. While this may seem like good news, some experts fear it does not necessarily mean that fewer kids are at risk, but that the people required to report suspected abuse have less contact with children. Other experts, however, believe that this fear is premature and overblown. 

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Topics: Child Welfare, COVID-19