CHILDREN + FAMILIES

Virginia got a slap on the wrist this week and may be subject to financial penalties after the federal government found that the state had one of the highest rates of error in the nation in calculating its food-assistance payments.According to data released Tuesday by the U.S. Department of...
If someone had asked Janet Kelly 10 years ago what she would be doing now, crisscrossing Virginia to bolster the state's struggling foster care system wouldn't have been on the horizon.As the president of Virginia's Kids Belong, Kelly, the former secretary of the commonwealth in Gov. Bob McDonnell’s administration,...
Every year, between 100,000 and 300,000 children nationwide are diverted from the foster care system to live with relatives, according to a new report from the national research group Child Trends that answers some — though not all — questions around the practice.Diversion occurs when child protective services has...
Virginia's population might grow over the next decade, but it could be slower than it's been in the past, according to population projections by the University of Virginia's Weldon Cooper Center for Public Service.The center found that population growth has decelerated to 8 percent, from 13 percent last decade....
WASHINGTON -- The U.S. House passed a $4.5 billion package late Tuesday to spend on humanitarian aid at the U.S.-Mexico border. The bill passed by a vote of 230-195, largely along party lines. The measure lays out new health and safety conditions for children kept in federal custody and additional...
In an effort to combat Virginia’s teacher shortage, 15 Virginia colleges and universities will start new four-year teacher education degree programs this fall.The Virginia Board of Education approved the programs last week. The State Council for Higher Education of Virginia, which oversees public colleges and universities, approved the new...
President Donald Trump's administration is currently considering changing how the federal poverty line is calculated, which could mean thousands in Virginia might lose access to medical and food assistance programs.The poverty level, currently $12,490 for a single adult, is adjusted every year to account for inflation, but the new...
Last in a two-part look at kinship care in Virginia. To read the first installment, click here. There is an inherent conundrum built into child welfare. Social workers are trying to protect kids, but  separating them from their parents is traumatizing, even if it's for their own safety.And reams of...
First in a two-part series examining kinship care in Virginia. To read the second installment, click here. On a June day in 2011, Ray Richardson was at work when he got a call from his daughter and was given a choice: Either his granddaughter, 7-year-old Lilia, would be staying with...
In the wake of the General Assembly's push to reform Virginia's foster care system this year, legislators seem poised to maintain the momentum into future sessions.Virginia's Commission on Youth held a foster care seminar for legislators on Monday, with presenters covering everything from how the current system works to...