Foster care

May 31, 2019 - 1:17 pm
COLUMBIA, S.C. (AP) — South Carolina is again at the center of federal litigation spawned by a waiver allowing a state-contracted foster care agency to deny services to same-sex and non-Christian families. The lawsuit filed in federal court Thursday accuses the state and federal governments of...
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Kansas Gov. Laura Kelly answers questions from reporters during a news conference at the Statehouse, Friday, May 10, 2019, in Topeka, Kan. The Kansas Supreme Court has ruled that Kelly didn't have the legal authority to withdraw a state Court of Appeals nominee whose political tweets in 2017 doomed his chances of winning Senate confirmation, meaning the Senate has to formally vote to reject his nomination to keep him off the bench. (AP Photo/John Hanna)
May 17, 2019 - 5:50 pm
TOPEKA, Kan. (AP) — Abused and neglected children are again sleeping overnight in the offices of Kansas foster care contractors because homes cannot be found for them quickly enough. Since January, when Democratic Gov. Laura Kelly took office, more than 70 children have been kept overnight in the...
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Illinois Gov. J.B. Pritzker, right, and Illinois Department of Children and Family Services Director Marc Smith take questions from reporters during a press conference at the Illinois Capitol in Springfield, Ill., Wednesday, May 15, 2019. Pritzker says the work has begun with a DCFS review of 1,100 cases to ensure that proper steps were taken. The agency's actions have been questioned in the cases of three children under its care who have died since January. (Ted Schurter/The State Journal-Register via AP)
May 15, 2019 - 5:16 pm
SPRINGFIELD, Ill. (AP) — Illinois's child welfare agency reviewed all 1,100 of its ongoing abuse and neglect cases as part of a stepped-up effort to right a department that's facing criticism for failing to prevent the deaths of three children under its watch since January, the governor announced...
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FILE - This combination of file photos provided on Sunday, Jan. 8, 2017, by the Bucks County District Attorney shows Sara Packer, left, and Jacob Sullivan. A jury is considering the death penalty or life in prison for Sullivan in the 2016 rape and murder of 14-year-old Grace Packer, while Grace's mother, Sara Packer, is due to plead guilty, Wednesday, March 27, 2019, to first-degree murder in exchange for a life sentence. (Bucks County District Attorney via AP, File)
March 28, 2019 - 4:22 pm
DOYLESTOWN, Pa. (AP) — A man who killed and dismembered his girlfriend's 14-year-old daughter as part of a rape-murder fantasy he shared with the teenager's mother was sentenced Thursday to death. Jacob Sullivan, 46, had pleaded guilty to first-degree murder and related charges for killing Grace...
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FILE - This combination of file photos provided on Sunday, Jan. 8, 2017, by the Bucks County District Attorney shows Sara Packer, left, and Jacob Sullivan. Sullivan pleaded guilty Tuesday, Feb. 19, 2019, to first-degree murder in the 2016 death of 14-year-old Grace Packer. Sullivan pleaded guilty to all charges in the 2016 death of Grace Packer. The penalty phase of his trial opens Friday, March 15, 2019 outside Philadelphia. A jury will hear testimony about Sullivan’s crimes before deciding on a sentence of either life in prison or death. (Bucks County District Attorney via AP, File)
March 20, 2019 - 7:43 pm
DOYLESTOWN, Pa. (AP) — The mother of a girl who was raped, murdered and dismembered testified Wednesday that she helped plot the attack and carry it out, telling her daughter before her death that "I can't help you anymore." Appearing to smirk at times, Sara Packer calmly recounted how she watched...
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FILE - This combination of file photos provided on Sunday, Jan. 8, 2017, by the Bucks County District Attorney shows Sara Packer, left, and Jacob Sullivan. Sullivan pleaded guilty Tuesday, Feb. 19, 2019, to first-degree murder in the 2016 death of 14-year-old Grace Packer. Sullivan pleaded guilty to all charges in the 2016 death of Grace Packer. The penalty phase of his trial opens Friday, March 15, 2019 outside Philadelphia. A jury will hear testimony about Sullivan’s crimes before deciding on a sentence of either life in prison or death. (Bucks County District Attorney via AP, File)
March 15, 2019 - 6:20 pm
DOYLESTOWN, Pa. (AP) — A Pennsylvania man should be put to death for killing and dismembering his girlfriend's 14-year-old daughter as part of a rape-murder fantasy he and the teen's mother shared, a prosecutor declared Friday as he described how the victim fought for her life. Jacob Sullivan, 46,...
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FILE - In this Aug. 6, 2013, file photo, Veronica, 3, a child at the center of an international adoption dispute at the time, smiles in a bathroom of the Cherokee Nation Jack Brown Center in Tahlequah, Okla. A federal law that gives preference to Native American families in child welfare proceedings involving Native children is facing a significant legal challenge. In 2013, the U.S. Supreme Court ruled the law didn’t apply in a South Carolina case involving Veronica because her Cherokee father was absent from part of her life. (Mike Simons/Tulsa World via AP, File)
March 13, 2019 - 6:09 pm
NEW ORLEANS (AP) — A 1978 law giving preference to Native American families in foster care and adoption proceedings involving American Indian children is an unconstitutional race-based intrusion on state powers that has caused families to be "literally torn apart," an attorney told a federal...
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FILE - In this Aug. 6, 2013, file photo, Veronica, 3, a child at the center of an international adoption dispute at the time, smiles in a bathroom of the Cherokee Nation Jack Brown Center in Tahlequah, Okla. A federal law that gives preference to Native American families in child welfare proceedings involving Native children is facing a significant legal challenge. In 2013, the U.S. Supreme Court ruled the law didn’t apply in a South Carolina case involving Veronica because her Cherokee father was absent from part of her life. (Mike Simons/Tulsa World via AP, File)
March 13, 2019 - 1:17 am
FLAGSTAFF, Ariz. (AP) — A federal law that gives preference to Native American families in foster care and adoption proceedings involving Native American children is facing the most significant legal challenge since it was enacted more than 40 years ago. A federal judge in Texas ruled the Indian...
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CORRECTS SPELLING OF SARA ON SECOND REFERENCE - FILE - This combination of file photos provided on Sunday, Jan. 8, 2017, by the Bucks County District Attorney shows Sara Packer, left, and Jacob Sullivan. Sullivan pleaded guilty Tuesday, Feb. 19, 2019, to first-degree murder in the 2016 death of 14-year-old Grace Packer. Grace's adoptive mother, Sara Packer, is expected to testify against Sullivan during the penalty phase of his trial. She has agreed to plead guilty and serve a life sentence. (Bucks County District Attorney via AP, File)
February 19, 2019 - 6:28 pm
DOYLESTOWN, Pa. (AP) — A Pennsylvania man pleaded guilty on Tuesday in the rape, murder and dismemberment of a 14-year-old girl, and the victim's adoptive mother has agreed to plead guilty and serve a life sentence. Jacob Sullivan, 46, pleaded guilty to all charges in the 2016 death of Grace Packer...
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In this 2019 photo provided by Americans United for Separation of Church and State, Aimee Maddonna smiles while sitting with her children at her home in Simpsonville, S.C. The South Carolina mother has sued both the state and federal government, saying she’s a victim of religious discrimination on the part of a federally funded foster-care agency that turned her down because of her Catholic faith. Maddonna says the agency in 2014 initially encouraged her to become a foster parent but cut off ties once realizing that she is Catholic and not a “born-again” Christian, as the agency’s internal rules require. (Courtesy of Aimee Maddonna/Americans United for Separation of Church and State via AP)
February 15, 2019 - 12:55 pm
COLUMBIA, S.C. (AP) — A Catholic mother says a federally funded South Carolina foster agency abruptly stopped working with her and won't allow her to foster children because she's "not the right kind of Christian." In a federal lawsuit filed Friday, Aimee Maddonna and her lawyers say Miracle Hill...
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