March 29, 2012, American Bar Association: Acknowledging the significance of the child-parent relationship is the starting point for creating best practices for children. This follow-up article to the previous article, A Voice for the Young Child with an Incarcerated Parent, offers three case studies presented by attorneys/guardians ad litem (GAL) with an accompanying mental-health analysis of each. Link to Article
January 9, 2012, American Bar Association: “When a parent goes to prison, they never go alone . . . Their children go with them.” This introduction to a video produced by the Children’s Justice Alliance shines light on the often-ignored needs of children with incarcerated parents. It is well documented that adverse childhood experiences, including the incarceration of a household member, are linked to a host of health and social problems.
Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, Adverse Childhood Experiences Study. Brain research of the past three decades concludes that a child’s brain is wired for relationship. All future child development cascades from the quality of the first and most important relationship between parent and child. That relationship exists for good or ill in the absence or the presence of the parent. When children are separated from their parent due to incarceration, their lives are greatly affected by the array of systems surrounding the family, including, at times, the child welfare system. It is important that the child not be overlooked and that the systems surrounding the family recognize the significance of the child-parent relationship. Link to Article
January 9, 2012; American Bar Association: Human trafficking is a modern-day form of slavery prevalent both domestically and abroad. The crime of child trafficking has recently gained more attention in our society via news reports, celebrity advocacy, and new outreach and advocacy campaigns designed to combat this heinous crime.
The latest government estimates state that approximately 14,500–17,500 men, women, and children are trafficked into the United States each year to perform compelled labor or sexual services, with women and children representing the majority of victims. This figure does not include U.S. citizens, who may also be trafficked. Current estimates suggest up to 100,000 U.S. citizen children are trafficked in the Unites States each year.
In 2000, the United States enacted the Trafficking Victims Protection Act (TVPA), which created new human trafficking crimes and provided protections, services, and benefits for human trafficking victims. While the terms “child trafficking” and “human trafficking” may be new legal terms, the phenomenon of children being commercially sexually exploited or compelled into performing labor or services is not new, even in the United States. Link to Article