Indiana to dedicate new state psychiatric hospital
INDIANAPOLIS (AP) — The Family and Social Services Administration will dedicate and open Indiana's newest state psychiatric hospital on Friday.
BUFFALO, N.Y. (AP) — A former upstate New York county official has been convicted of sexually assaulting a woman he supervised.
A jury on Friday found Al Dirschberger guilty of third-degree...
Virginia official to lead Nebraska Health and Human Services
LINCOLN, Neb. (AP) — A social services director from Virginia has been chosen to serve as the next leader of Nebraska's Department of Health and Human Services.
Gov. Pete Ricketts announced Tuesday he has selected Dannette R. Smith to serve as the agency's new chief executive officer.
Shutdown prompts Missouri to issue food stamps early
JEFFERSON CITY, Mo. (AP) — Missourians will get February food stamps early because of the federal government shutdown.
The Department of Social Services announced that participants in the Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program will get payments by Sunday.
The U.S. Department of Agriculture's Food and Nutrition Service directed states to issue food stamps early because of the shutdown.
Missouri sued over rules for foster parents who have guns
KANSAS CITY, Mo. (AP) — A Kansas City couple claims in a federal lawsuit that state requirements for foster parents who own guns violate their constitutional rights.
Louisiana’s early issuance of February food stamps done
BATON ROUGE, La. (AP) — Louisiana has finished handing out February food stamps early, with the state social services agency warning recipients to budget them carefully to cover their needs.
The state Department of Children and Family Services joined other states in the early issuance of the food aid through the Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program because of the partial federal government shutdown.
Noem to name Sioux Falls doctor as Social Services secretary
PIERRE, S.D. (AP) — Gov. Kristi Noem is naming a Sioux Falls physician to serve as Department of Social Services secretary.
The Republican governor said Thursday that she will appoint M. Gregory DeSautel to the cabinet post. DeSautel works at Sanford Hospital in Sioux Falls and is a professor at the University of South Dakota School of Medicine.
Court: Relatives should be included in child placement cases
MINNEAPOLIS (AP) — An appeals court says child welfare agencies in Minnesota must have a court hearing before ruling out family members as adoptive parents for neglected children.
The ruling involves Anoka County Social Services. The three-judge panel recently ruled the agency violated state law when it denied a woman's petition to be the adoptive parent of her three grandchildren without first obtaining a court order to exclude her.
West Virginia gov proposes cutting Social Security tax
CHARLESTON, W.Va. (AP) — West Virginia Gov. Jim Justice is proposing the elimination of a state tax on Social Security benefits but offering significant funding increases for substance abuse, social services and tourism in the next fiscal year.
Noem announces picks for cabinet, staff positions
PIERRE, S.D. (AP) — South Dakota Gov.-elect Kristi Noem has announced her choices for interim secretaries of the state Human Services and Social Services departments.
The incoming Republican governor said Friday that Shawnie Rechtenbaugh will serve as interim secretary of Human Services and Amy Iversen-Pollreisz will be interim secretary of Social Services.
New call centers planned in Louisiana, creating 240 jobs
BATON ROUGE, La. (AP) — Louisiana's social services agency is moving its help-line work to new call centers planned within the state.
Gov. John Bel Edwards announced Tuesday that Mississippi-based YoungWilliams will spend $4 million to create new call centers in Bossier City and Baton Rouge, with 240 new jobs.
NY lawmakers to review social services for poor families
ALBANY, N.Y. (AP) — New York lawmakers are taking a close look at one of the state's leading social service programs.
The Assembly Standing Committee on Social Services is scheduled to hold a public hearing Monday in Albany focused on educational and work training benefits provided through the state's Temporary Assistance to Needy Families program.
Ramsey County data breach might have affected hundreds
ST. PAUL, Minn. (AP) — The personal information of hundreds of Ramsey County social services clients might have been compromised after hackers gained access to the email accounts of dozens of county employees.
The social services department handles services such as chemical and mental health treatment. County officials say about 500 clients might have been affected. They're being notified this week.
Mom arrested in video that sparked outrage freed from jail
NEW YORK (AP) — A mother jailed after police violently pulled her toddler son from her arms in a videotaped encounter in a crowded waiting room of a New York City social services office was released Tuesday night.
"I'm just so grateful to everyone and I'm just happy to be free and I just need to see my boy," Jazmine Headley said following her release from the Rikers Island jail facility.
The Latest: Mom in video that sparked outrage leaves jail
NEW YORK (AP) — The Latest on the arrest of a mother at a New York City social services office (all times local):
A mother who was violently separated from her toddler son by New York police in a videotaped encounter at a city social services office has been released from jail.
Jazmine Headley said she was happy to be free and thanked everybody for their support following her release Tuesday night.
The Latest: 2 city workers on modified duty in video case
NEW YORK (AP) — The Latest on a video showing New York City police officers violently yanking a toddler from his mother's arms (all times local):
Two New York City employees involved in a confrontation that led to police forcefully taking a young child from his mother's arms at a public benefits center will be put on modified duty pending an investigation.
State: Technology upgrade to benefit social services staff
FRANKFORT, Ky. (AP) — Kentucky officials say a technology upgrade will allow state social workers to spend less time on paperwork.
The Cabinet for Health and Family Services says about 1,800 social workers and social services staff will receive tablets to replace laptop and desktop computers. Cabinet officials say the upgrade will save time and allow staff to better serve children and families.
- The Spokesman-ReviewNorthwest Passages: Nancy Pearl talks about the evolving role of librariesMarch 10, 2019
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- Wisconsin State JournalCity Council approves money for support services at apartment for homeless but denies funding for additional securityFebruary 27, 2019
Impact of new marijuana law on welfare recipients unclear
JEFFERSON CITY, Mo. (AP) — Missouri voters have approved medical marijuana, but it remains unclear whether thousands of welfare recipients will lose benefits if they opt for it.
Officials to consider turning Mercy Hospital into shelter
PORTLAND, Maine (AP) — An architect has proposed using Maine's Mercy Hospital building for a homeless shelter.
The Portland Press Herald reports 69-year-old M. Curt Sachs recently submitted a proposal to turn the State Street hospital into a homeless shelter and neighborhood health clinic. Mercy Hospital plans to move all operations to its Fore River site and sell the current hospital.
Judge says state agency discriminated in reservation office
RAPID CITY, S.D. (AP) — South Dakota's Department of Social Services discriminated against Native American job applicants at its Pine Ridge Indian Reservation office during a five-year period that ended in 2013, a federal judge ruled.
Pennington County opening $14M social services complex
RAPID CITY, S.D. (AP) — Pennington County is opening a $14 million all-in-one social services complex.
The Rapid City Journal reports that a noon Monday opening was scheduled for the Care Campus in the former National American University building.
Nebraska agencies aiding refugees living in squalor
OMAHA, Neb. (AP) — Social service agencies are scrambling to help up to 500 refugees who may have to find new places to live because of the squalid conditions in their Nebraska apartment complex.
Omaha housing inspectors pored over the Yale Park Apartments on Thursday because of nearly 100 complaints filed by occupants who've been living with bedbugs, lice, rodents, gas leaks and mold in the north Omaha apartments.
US appeals court overturns South Dakota child removal ruling
RAPID CITY, S.D. (AP) — A federal appeals court has overturned an earlier ruling that said a South Dakota county must give Native American parents more rights during initial hearings of child-removal cases.
Teen sets fire while in custody in Sioux Falls
SIOUX FALLS, S.D. (AP) — Police say a 17-year-old boy driving a stolen car rear-ended a police squad car in Sioux Falls before setting a fire while in the custody of social service workers.
Pennington County to open social services complex
RAPID CITY, S.D. (AP) — A western South Dakota county is preparing to open an all-in-one social services complex.
United Way of Central Indiana to tweak funding for partners
INDIANAPOLIS (AP) — United Way of Central Indiana has some social service agencies worried with its plan to refocus its funding on a comprehensive attack on poverty.
The United Way chapter currently evaluates its partner agencies annually and gives each a score that determines how much funding they'll get.
But under a new model that will be phased in over two years, United Way will instead accredit organizations, which can then apply for funding based on United Way's poverty-fighting goals.
Rastafarian woman wants removal from child abuse registry
MINOT, N.D. (AP) — A practicing Rastafarian has filed a lawsuit against a North Dakota county social services agency to get her name off a child abuse registry.
Judge Todd Cresap heard arguments Tuesday in Shanika Lister's civil lawsuit against Ward County Social Services, the Minot Daily News reported .
Father of dead girl sues mother, social service contractor
CHICAGO (AP) — The father of a 17-month-old suburban Chicago girl whose death in 2017 was ruled a homicide has filed a lawsuit against the girl's mother and a social service contractor.
Organization seeks to open family homeless shelter in Bangor
BANGOR, Maine (AP) — A Maine social services organization is looking to open a family homeless shelter in Bangor for the first time in more than a decade.
The Bangor Daily News reports Families and Children Together is seeking a zoning change to open a two-family emergency shelter.
Kansas City groups rethink drug recovery for mothers
KANSAS CITY, Mo. (AP) — Kansas City health and social service groups are testing a new approach for mothers undergoing drug recovery by keeping families together.
The number of infants born dependent on opioids in Missouri has more than quadrupled since 2011, KCUR-FM reported. The number of children entering the state's foster care system is simultaneously growing as well.
Warren Buffett’s son announces $30M Illinois investment
DECATUR, Ill. (AP) — The foundation of billionaire investor Warren Buffett's son plans to invest $30 million in a central Illinois campus of facilities to help people with drug addiction and bring together social services.
2 Indiana agencies name new chief medical officers
INDIANAPOLIS (AP) — Indiana's health and social services agencies have named two doctors to be their new chief medical officers.
Daniel Rusyniak will be the chief doctor of the Family and Social Services Administration, while Melissa Collier will hold a similar post at the State Department of Health.
BERLIN (AP) — The Latest on immigration into Europe (all times local):
Italy's hard-line interior minister is taking steps to reduce the amount of money Italy spends on asylum-seekers, decreeing that only some will get expanded social services aimed at helping them integrate.
The interior ministry said a directive designates two levels of services: basic services that all asylum-seekers receive, and expanded services for those deserving of special protection, such as unaccompanied minors.
NEW YORK (AP) — Seven immigrant children who'd been separated from their families left a New York City social services center Friday holding their mothers' hands and carrying balloons, backpacks and stuffed animals.
A woman from Guatemala held her 5-year-old son in her arms, more than two months after they were separated. He and his 15-year-old brother have been staying with a New York foster family.
Immigrant Families Reunited In New York
SPRINGFIELD, Ill. (AP) — A year after Illinois lawmakers ended a historic state budget impasse, social service agencies and other providers hardest hit by funding cuts say they're just starting to recover.
The providers said some rate increases approved in fiscal 2018 and 2019 isn't enough to undo all the damage, The (Springfield) State Journal-Register reported.
NEW YORK (AP) — A Guatemalan mother who was separated from her three children at the U.S.-Mexico border said she was overjoyed following their reunion on Tuesday at a social services center.
"I am very happy and thankful to God" and to supporters, a teary-eyed Yeni Gonzalez said after the private meeting in New York at the Cayuga Center, the agency that placed 6-year-old Deyuin, 9-year-old Jamelin and 11-year-old Lester in foster care.
HARTFORD, Conn. (AP) — Advocates for people who rely on the Connecticut Department of Social Services say lengthy delays at the agency's call center must be addressed.
In a letter sent this week to DSS Commissioner Rodrick Bremby, the group calls it "wholly unacceptable" that the average wait time is between 96 and 107 minutes. The letter notes how the ImpaCT system was fully implemented ten months ago and wait times "are now worse than they have ever been."
SEOUL, South Korea (AP) — South Korea's Constitutional Court ruled Thursday that the country must allow alternative social service for people who conscientiously object to military service, which is currently mandatory for able-bodied males.
The ruling requires the government to introduce alternative service by the end of 2019. It was hailed by activists as a breakthrough that advances individual rights and freedom of thought.
SACRAMENTO, Calif. (AP) — The Latest on the California state budget (all times local):
California Gov. Jerry Brown has signed a $139 billion budget he says fulfills his promise to resolve the fiscal crisis he inherited eight years ago and "prepares us for the future."
He signed his 16th and final spending plan Wednesday alongside legislative leaders in Los Angeles. Brown leaves office early next year after a record four terms, first serving in the 1970s and 1980s and again since 2011.
NEW YORK (AP) — State officials say they're ready to provide social services to the estimated hundreds of immigrant children housed at New York foster-care facilities after being separated from their asylum-seeking parents.
Gov. Andrew Cuomo says Monday that state agencies can send public services providers to government-contracted foster care agencies that request help for children separated from parents after the families were caught crossing the southern border illegally.
HARRISBURG, Pa. (AP) — The Latest on Pennsylvania's budget legislation (all times local):
Pennsylvania has budget peace, for now, and spending authorization intact a week early for the upcoming fiscal year.
Democratic Gov. Tom Wolf on Friday signed a $32.7 billion budget package, avoiding the partisan acrimony and protracted budget fights of his first three years in office.
Children Separated From Parents Held In Harlem
Blaze destroys city’s historic Armory building
ABERDEEN, Wash. (AP) — A fire destroyed Aberdeen's Armory building, which houses the city's museum, a senior center and the offices of a community social services program.
No one was hurt in the blaze, as the building was unoccupied Saturday morning when the fire began.
Aberdeen Fire Chief Tom Hubbard says the alarm call came at 9:26 a.m., and crews immediately saw a huge plume of smoke rising from the roof.
BATON ROUGE, La. (AP) — Louisiana will end the food stamp program that provides aid to nearly one in five state residents by January, unless lawmakers add more money to next year's budget for the social services agency.
JEFFERSON CITY, Mo. (AP) — An audit has found multiple problems with how Missouri tracks fraud within a program that provides food aid for low-income families.
Auditor Nicole Galloway released a report Tuesday that found flaws in how the Department of Social Services kept track of data between 2015 and 2016, making it difficult for the department to know if fraud occurs within the Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (SNAP), commonly known as food stamps.
MINNEAPOLIS (AP) — Authorities estimate 200 homeless people use the Twin Cities light rail system for shelter each night and that the number of users is rising.
Metro Transit Police Chief John Harrington told Minnesota Public Radio that the problem has been getting worse since he started the position in 2012.
BATON ROUGE, La. (AP) — The Latest on Louisiana's regular legislative session (all times local):
Gov. John Bel Edwards has vetoed a $28 billion-plus budget that would slash education, social services and public safety spending next year to account for expiring temporary taxes.
The Democratic governor says the cuts would devastate services. Instead, he wants lawmakers to craft a new spending plan as they consider taxes in the special session starting Tuesday.