MTPR

child abuse

Gavel.
(PD)

As Montana lawmakers begin hearings this week to figure out how to fund public defenders in the state, attorneys say they don’t have enough resources, and their caseloads are rising.

The Montana Capitol in Helena.
Mike Albans

As Montana lawmakers look to find ways to trim state spending amid a budget shortfall, officials who oversee the state’s foster care system say they need more money to keep up with their rising workload.

Montana’s Department of Health and Human Services expects the number of kids in foster care to continue growing in coming years, to the point where they’re asking lawmakers to add more than $16 million to their $76 million budget.

Montana Capitol, Helena, MT.
William Marcus / Montana Public Radio

As the state faces a budget shortfall, lawmakers in Helena are asking departments across the state to trim their spending. But the judicial branch says its caseloads are increasing, and it needs more funds.

Between 2014 and 2015 the number of cases of child abuse and neglect in district courts rose by 700, according to testimony from court representatives.

Bill Would Create Montana Commission To Investigate Child Abuse, Neglect

Jan 30, 2017
Rep. Kathy Kelker, D-Billings.
Freddy Monares - UM Legislative News Service

In the wake of reports of an increase in child abuse and neglect cases, lawmakers in Helena are considering a bill that would create a commission to review trends and patterns to share with policymakers. House Bill 303 also aims to educate the public and service providers about child abuse and neglect.

Bill Would Give Child Abuse Workers More Time

Jan 23, 2017
Rep. Kim Dudik, D - Missoula
Mike Albans

A new bill would give Montana’s Child and Family Services Division more time to informally resolve child abuse cases before they are referred to the courts.

If passed, the bill would provide additional funding  for a child abuse pilot project passed by the legislature in 2015.

Spike In Child Abuse Cases Alarms Officials

Mar 8, 2016

Child abuse and neglect cases in Montana's district courts have more than doubled since 2010, prompting renewed alarm from court officials and children's advocates.

The Protect Montana Kids Commission listening to stories of child abuse, abandonment and neglect
Corin Cates-Carney

Last September, Governor Steve Bullock created the Protect Montana Kids Commission to address growing concerns over the state’s child abuse and neglect caseload.

Montana District Court caseloads.
Montana Legislative Fiscal Division

The number of child abuse and neglect cases in Montana is weighing down the state’s already burdened court system.

“It’s significant. It’s actually startling.”

Novel Explores The Meaning Of Home

Apr 29, 2015

Call Me Home has an epic scope in the tradition of Louise Erdrich’s The Plague of Doves or Marilynne Robinson’s Housekeeping and braids the stories of a family in three distinct voices: Amy, who leaves her Texas home at nineteen to start a new life with a man she barely knows, and her two children, Jackson and Lydia, who are rocked by their parents’ abusive relationship. When Amy is forced to bargain for the safety of one child over the other, she must retrace the steps in the life she has chosen.

A House panel is considering whether Montana Developmental Center in Boulder should be closed, after multiple reports of clients being physically or sexually assaulted. MDC treats people with developmental disabilities, who are sent there by court order.  

Bernadette Franks-Ongoy, who heads Disability Rights Montana, says ongoing reports of physical and sexual abuse against clients justify closing the center, and transferring its residents to community-based group homes.

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