CHILDREN + FAMILIES

Paulette Trimmer was excited when her 18-year-old son's counselor asked her to sit in on a therapy session. She was proud. She thought it was a good sign."I didn't have a clue that I was going into a den of wolves," she told the Virginia Board of Counseling on...
As lawmakers scrambled to finalize budget bills and reporters chased the latest revelations surrounding racist yearbook photos and blackface (today's chapter: Republican Senate Majority Leader Tommy Norment), hundreds of abortion opponents rallied on the steps of the Capitol on Thursday, hoping to return the conversation to last week's outrage...
A partisan debate fueled by election-year ferocity reared up in Virginia's House of Delegates on Wednesday over legislation related to late-term abortions when a mother's life or health is in danger — a practice that is already legal in Virginia under certain circumstances.A video of Del. Kathy Tran, D-Fairfax,...
During the course of their time in foster care, some children might pass through multiple foster homes and interact with a variety of adults, potentially placing their personal information at risk.A bill sponsored by Del. Emily Brewer, R-Suffolk, is aiming to eliminate that problem by freezing the youths' credit...
By Jayla Marie McNeill/ Capital News ServiceA Senate committee has killed a bill to remove gender-specific pronouns from parentage laws. The legislation would have made state laws more inclusive of same-sex couples, while also reflecting federal law.“Our code is out of compliance,” said Sen. Scott Surovell, D-Fairfax, who introduced...
A House subcommittee took up two bills Tuesday that would expand access to benefits for those with past drug convictions, voting one down and allowing another to squeeze by with a major amendment.One piece of legislation, proposed by Del. Alfonso Lopez, D-Arlington, would have lifted the federally-imposed ban on...
Several bills aimed at addressing deficiencies in Virginia's foster care system highlighted in a report released in December, made their way easily through their first Senate committee Friday.The most far-reaching is the omnibus bill carried by Sen. Bryce Reeves, R-Spotsylvania, for which Sen. Janet Howell, D-Fairfax, is carrying the...
A proposal meant to help social workers in the field by giving them more information about a family's history died on a party-line vote in subcommittee on Tuesday.The bill, sponsored by Del. Wendy Gooditis, D-Loudoun, would have required the Department of Social Services to keep records of investigations that...
Virginia's foster care system is in dire straits. It is struggling to care for some of the state's most vulnerable children, whose basic health and safety needs sometimes go unmet by local departments. And the state, which has oversight of the whole system, has taken a hands-off approach to...
With the federal government shutdown casting a shadow of uncertainty over benefits in Virginia, the state's Department of Social Services announced this week that it will be doling out recipients' February food benefits on Thursday.The move comes after the United States Department of Agriculture issued guidance that participants in...