Children + Families

Some states act to protect residents from extreme heat — with a new focus on young people

BY: - November 28, 2023

After two years of record-breaking heat that brought a surge of deaths and health emergencies, several states have enacted or are considering measures designed to protect residents — with a new focus on younger people whose vulnerability is rising with the temperatures. Nationally, heat-related deaths rose from about 1,000 in 2018 to 1,722 in 2022 […]

When foster care kids are sex trafficked, some states fail to figure it out

BY: - November 23, 2023

For help, call 1-888-373-7888 or text *233733 for the 24/7 National Human Trafficking Hotline, a national, toll-free hotline. When she was a 10-year-old foster child, Withelma “T” Ortiz often rode a public bus around the San Francisco Bay area, alone. She’d frequent a bus stop by a barber shop. Little by little, the barber, who […]

We asked every member of Congress about child care policy. Only 5 Republicans answered.

BY: - November 22, 2023

Originally published by The 19th In September, when billions of dollars in child care funding were about to expire, a Senate subcommittee convened to discuss solutions. It was there that Sen. John Kennedy laid out the partisan tension at the heart of what’s billed as a bipartisan issue. He agreed that child care was an […]

Federal funds helped Arkansas childcare providers stay afloat, but staffing struggles continue

BY: - November 20, 2023

Sherrie Gillespie wasn’t sure if the daycare center she runs in Monticello would survive the COVID-19 pandemic. “I may have stayed open, but I know I would have had to cut some services in order to maintain payroll and pay bills,” she said. Thanks to $445,000 in federal grant funds, Head of the Class Childcare […]

A teenager uses a laptop with a phone nearby. States are passing laws designed to keep kids away from social media and porn sites, but the effectiveness of the laws is being questioned by opponents and challenged in court. (Leonardo Fernandez Viloria/Getty Images)

Central Arkansas school district drops library’s digital learning tools, citing lack of ‘filter’

BY: - November 17, 2023

More than 11,000 Pulaski County students are unable to access online educational materials through their local public library as a legal precaution, according to school district administrators, in light of the statewide debate over what content children should be able to access in libraries. The Pulaski County Special School District, which covers the rest of […]

States lose track of thousands of foster children each year

BY: - November 13, 2023

Sharday Hamilton, a 28-year-old advocate for foster youth, homeless youth and runaways, still bears her own scars from running. There’s one near her left knee. She got it as a little girl, running away from her foster mother, who was trying to hit her with a bag of frozen food but who sometimes used a […]

‘Worse Than People Can Imagine’: Medicaid ‘Unwinding’ Breeds Chaos in States

BY: - November 8, 2023

More than two dozen people lined up outside a state public assistance office in Montana before it opened to ensure they didn’t get cut off from Medicaid. Callers in Missouri and Florida reported waiting on hold for more than two hours on hotlines to renew their Medicaid coverage. The parents of a disabled man in […]

Missouri-based Kanakuk camp blames insurance company for withholding sexual abuse info

BY: - November 7, 2023

A Branson-area Christian summer camp accused of covering up years of sexual abuse of its students is suing its insurance company, claiming it threatened to deny coverage if information about abuse was made public. Kanakuk Kamps filed a cross claim last month against ACE American Insurance Co. as part of a 2022 lawsuit filed by […]

A majority of the books being challenged in school and community libraries are written by authors who are people of color, LGBTQ, Black and Indigenous, and feature characters from marginalized groups. (Getty Images)

U.S. House Republicans target ‘explicit’ books in school libraries

BY: - October 20, 2023

WASHINGTON — Republicans and Democrats on the U.S. House Education and Workforce Committee split at a Thursday hearing about whether some books containing LGBTQ+ content should be removed from public school libraries. Democrats criticized the hearing as leaning into culture war topics to attack public education, and said that those tactics resulted in book bans. […]

Library books on shelves. (Getty Images)

Arkansas librarians meet for annual conference amid censorship pressures

BY: - October 12, 2023

Library administrators and staff from across Arkansas are gathering in Hot Springs this weekend for an annual conference, at a time when librarians in some parts of the state are under pressure to remove or relocate books pertaining to controversial subjects. The Arkansas Library Association (ArLA), a chapter of the American Library Association, is a […]

Arkansas Democrats criticize DHS’ handling of post-pandemic Medicaid “unwinding”

BY: - October 10, 2023

Arkansas Democrats will focus on the state’s revocation of hundreds of thousands of Arkansans’ Medicaid coverage during the 2024 election cycle, party leaders said in a Tuesday press conference. The state Department of Human Services didn’t do enough to ensure people, especially children, were no longer eligible before revoking their health insurance, Grant Tennille, chairman […]

Patty Hector, director of the Saline County Library, listens during public comment on a resolution that would restrict children's access to books that contain "sexual content or imagery" at an April 17, 2023, meeting of the county Quorum Court. The court adopted the resolution. At left is Leigh Espey, library manager. (John Sykes/Arkansas Advocate)

Saline County Judge fires library director after months of debate over children’s access to books

BY: - October 9, 2023

The Saline County judge fired the director of the county library system Monday, seven weeks after county officials gave the judge some power to hire and fire library staff. Patty Hector, who ran the Saline County Library for seven years, said County Judge Matt Brumley and county human resources director Christy Peterson told her in […]