first_img Some states have a set statewide foster care reimbursement, while a few determine it county by county, with the money coming from a combination of federal and state coffers. Meanwhile, federal funding for child welfare agencies dropped 16 percent from 2004 to 2014, according to a 2017 policy report by the nonprofit research organization Child Trends.Federal dollars fund more than half the child welfare spending in Missouri, which raised foster care reimbursements in recent years, although Gov. Eric Greitens signed a budget in June that cut rates by 1.5 percent. Greitens later said that it was a mistake and that there was enough money in savings elsewhere to stop those cuts from happening, but not officially in the budget.Current rates do not do a good job covering costs, according to Lori Ross, who founded Foster Adopt Connect, a Missouri support organization for foster parents.“It is about a third of what is actually spent out of pocket on taking care of a child,” Ross said. The rate “should be adequate to cover the costs of care for those kids,” she said.Oklahoma’s Department of Human Services had an $80 million reduction in funding for the past two years, putting pressure on foster care. The Department in July announced a reduction to payments for foster and adoptive families by 5 percent, or $1 a day. About the Author Reprints PHILADELPHIA — Like most parents trying to make ends meet, Vivian Shine-King needs to get creative sometimes. When she has to take her four children to doctor’s appointments, for instance, she’ll make sure multiple kids are booked at the same clinic around the same time, helping her to save on gas and parking.But Shine-King isn’t your average parent. She is foster mother to four disabled children and relies on government money to make sure they get what they need, including — crucially — health care.“Couple of times I’ve had to park the car away and take the children in a stroller,” Shine-King said, because she didn’t have enough money for a $15 parking garage. “If you gave me 50 cents more, it’s a piece of change that matters.”advertisement Kathleen, 12, is an adopted daughter of Vivian Shine-King. Jacqueline Larma/AP Shine-King, 61, got a little respite starting in July when Philadelphia raised its foster care per-diem rates, a daily reimbursement of expenses per child to ease financial burdens, something seen as especially crucial for disabled children because the high cost of caring for them makes it less likely they’ll ever be adopted.Financial support for foster parents in general has lagged nationwide and is pervasive among child welfare agencies; Philadelphia is not alone in re-examining reimbursement rates. But even with the increases, parents and others say, it often isn’t enough.advertisement Related: A boy who can’t speak depends on Medicaid. What happens to him if it’s cut? Related: Newsletters Sign up for Morning Rounds Your daily dose of news in health and medicine. Associated Press “Without a shadow of a doubt, a dollar-a-day cut goes a long way,” said John DeGarmo, who has trained foster parents in Oklahoma.In Philadelphia, Shine-King will see an increase in the reimbursement pay for disabled children 13 years and younger from $44 to $51 per day and an annual increase of $2 for five years.“I am always begging and pleading, my kids need this, they need that,” Shine-King said.The old rates were “barely enough for three meals a day,” said Cynthia Figueroa, Philadelphia human services commissioner.Of the nearly 6,000 children in Philadelphia’s foster care system, an estimated 900 have disabilities. The extra costs of their care make adoption less likely for children who will not be able to reunite with their biological families, said Heather Keafer, a city human services spokeswoman.Finding permanent homes for children with physical, behavioral and mental disabilities is crucial to their development, advocates say. Constant moving can disrupt their health conditions.Phyllis Stevens, executive director of Together as Adoptive Parents, a foster family support organization based in Philadelphia, said 70 percent of foster parents adopt the child in their care and are more likely to do so with better financial aid.Data on pay for foster care from Child Trends show Philadelphia had lagged further behind other states and counties after not raising its rates in 10 years. The city put forward $9 million with federal, state and county dollars to raise the rate, hoping foster parents would adopt. By Associated Press Sept. 27, 2017 Reprints Leave this field empty if you’re human: Shine-King has been a single foster parent, mainly for disabled children, for 21 years.She had intended to get a playmate for her son when she fostered her first child, with a mental disability. Later, she ended up adopting three children and fostering several at a time with mental, physical and behavioral disabilities over the years.“What works you hard is when you need the outside help,” Shine-King said when she reflected about her journey. But, she said, fostering children with significant medical needs is her gift.Medical and other equipment is evident throughout the house. In one corner of the living room alone are stacked diapers, blue pads and feeding tubes. By the door sits a wheelchair; nearby, a portable toilet.She calls the children’s health insurance company to offset the costs when she restocks the items from her budget, and they don’t always cover all expenses.Right now, her children include adopted son Jared, 20, who has the joint disorder Beals syndrome; adopted daughter Kathleen, 12, who has a mental disability; foster daughter Heavenly, 5, who has cerebral palsy; and foster son Alexander, 2, whom she describes as having hidden disabilities.Even though she must juggle her responsibilities, she acted with an air of normalcy and said she is not focused on money shortages.“You’re never going to look at the dollar sign and say they give you enough,” she said. “I just make it work.”— Mariah Brown, Sean Murphy, Summer Ballentine HealthFor foster parents of disabled children, money stays tight Privacy Policy Drug treatments didn’t work. Can a simple diet help change these children’s lives? 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first_imgEmail Share Pinterest Share on Facebook Share on Twittercenter_img Researchers at the University of York have shown that small alterations to a person’s appearance, such as wearing glasses, can significantly hinder positive facial identification.The research has the potential to contribute to future policies concerning photo identification, such as drivers’ licences or passports, where an individual has to be matched correctly to their image in order to inform important security decisions.Psychologists showed participants a number of faces in various ‘natural’ poses, similar to images seen on Facebook or other social media sites, and asked them to decide whether each pair of images showed the same person or not. Images were shown in three categories – pairs of faces that wore glasses, images where neither wore glasses, or only one image wore glasses. LinkedIn In cases where both of the faces wore glasses or where neither wore glasses, accuracy was around 80 per cent. However, when only one of the two faces wore glasses, performance was approximately 6 per cent lower, a statistically significant decrease.Dr Robin Kramer, from the University of York’s Department of Psychology, said: : “The question of whether the inhabitants of Metropolis could be realistically deceived by Superman’s simple disguise has been rumbling since the comic books first arrived on the stands, but the question becomes a serious one when applied to real-world security issues.“When a security guard checks a passport photo against the person standing in front of them, they do not have the luxury of familiarity with that face, as Lois does with Superman/Clark Kent. This is something we wanted to investigate further, because we know from previous studies that people are relatively poor at matching faces in various guises when the person is unfamiliar to them.“We also know from prior work that it is easier to match passport-style photos together when the facial expressions and poses are the same. Here, we investigated unfamiliar face matching, showing participants two unconstrained faces of strangers, with and without glasses, and asked whether the images are the same person or two different people.”The results suggest that people generally find it difficult to correctly match unfamiliar and uncontrolled face images, but they are significantly worse when glasses are worn by only one of the faces.Co-author, Dr Kay Ritchie, from the University of York’s Department of Psychology, added: “In real terms, glasses would not prevent Lois recognising that Clark is in fact Superman as she is familiar with him. For those who do not know him, however, this task is much more difficult, and our results show that glasses do disrupt our ability to recognise the same unfamiliar person from photo-to-photo.“We hope that this research can be used by legal authorities to help inform future policies on identification for security purposes, particularly in the UK where individuals who normally wear glasses are required to remove them for their identification cards.”The research, Disguising Superman: How glasses affect unfamiliar face matching, is published in Applied Cognitive Psychology.last_img read more

first_imgHHS Secretary Alex AzarU.S. SENATE News: WASHINGTON, D.C. – Wednesday, U.S. Senators Tom Udall, vice chairman of the Senate Committee on Indian Affairs, Jon Tester (D-Mont.), Catherine Cortez Masto (D-Nev.) and Tina Smith (D-Minn.), all members of the Senate Committee on Indian Affairs, wrote to Secretary of the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) Alex Azar requesting that the Department provide the Committee with an unredacted copy of the internal audit report on the Indian Health Service (IHS) management response to former IHS pediatrician Stanley Patrick Weber’s patient abuse compiled by HHS contractor Integritas Creative Solutions, LLC, within seven business days.The Senate Indian Affairs Committee has jurisdiction and oversight responsibility regarding IHS.“The Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) and IHS leadership have committed repeatedly to full transparency, openness and accountability regarding all issues related to IHS patients abuse generally and Weber’s abuse of minor IHS patients specifically,” the senators wrote. “However, recent decisions made by HHS regarding the disclosure of the referenced Integritas report appear to contradict those commitments.”Following revelations of longstanding abuse of child patients by former IHS Pediatrician Stanley Patrick Weber, as well as IHS’ failed management response to Weber’s abuse HHS commissioned an internal audit report from Integritas Creative Solutions, LLC.Thus far, HHS has not released the report publicly and has limited congressional access to a limited viewing of a redacted report in contradiction of federal law and long-established Congressional oversight process.“There is no legal basis for the IHS to withhold or limit access to its unredacted findings from review by the congressional committee of jurisdiction,” the senators continued. “As a coequal branch of government, we expect full transparency from your Department and the agency regarding this report and on all instances of employee mismanagement and criminal sexual misconduct. HHS and IHS must uphold their commitment to transparency on the Weber incident and issues of patient abuse.”The full text of the letter is available HERE.last_img read more

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first_imgBy Bonny Burrows A give way sign on a communal Pakenham “driveway” amounts to misappropriation of public funds, according to…[To read the rest of this story Subscribe or Login to the Gazette Access Pass] Thanks for reading the Pakenham Berwick Gazette. Subscribe or Login to read the rest of this content with the Gazette Digital Access Pass subscription.last_img