Social Worker – Tri Cap Fri, 18 Nov 2022 05:30:00 +0000 en-US hourly 1 Social Worker – Tri Cap 32 32 Ratikant kanungo A “Messiah” in the era of Covid Fri, 18 Nov 2022 05:30:00 +0000

Ratikant KanungoCovid

Mr Ratikant, a social worker and politician from Odisha, has given new life to almost 10,000 people when their families have nothing to eat.

BHUBANESWAR, ODISHA, INDIA, November 18, 2022 / — Covid impacted Odisha with significant loss in various sectors; many people lost their lives and members of their families; nearly 10,000 have died from covid.

Day laborers have lost their jobs and face various problems to get food and all other necessities to survive. Mr Ratikant, a social worker and politician from Odisha, has given new life to almost 10,000 people when their families have nothing to eat.

He came as a messiah to them and helped low income families. It also provided medical facilities and other necessary items for the families.

When the government of Odisha failed to provide food to the poor laborers, there was only one name who helped them, and that was Mr. Ratikant kanungo. It has provided transport facilities for migrant workers working outside their districts and state. It provided buses for migrant workers so that they could reach their homes safely.

Mr. Ratikant provided PPE kits and sanitizers to frontline workers and their families. Ratikant and his team also assisted police personnel. it provided N95 masks, gloves and other safety equipment to police personnel.

They worked as frontline workers. Mr. Ratikant gave his school premises to the Odisha government to use as isolation centres.

He also runs a real estate company named Shibani Real Estate Pvt Ltd in Odisha where he has so far provided over 10,000 plots and built shelters for hundreds of needy people at an affordable price in Odisha.

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ALAN CHARTOCK: There aren’t many like Carmi Rapport in the world Tue, 15 Nov 2022 05:01:35 +0000

Carmi Report. Photo via

Carmi Rapport has passed. Everyone needs a hero, and he was mine. I loved the guy. He was a valued board member of WAMC/Northeast Public Radio, the public radio network that I run.

If there was a problem, Carmi was the guy you wanted in your corner. He was reasonable to the point of excess. He never left half armed, and because he was a lawyer’s lawyer, he had the ability to keep his clients (I’m not one) out of the kind of trouble people get into can sometimes be found.

Every small town in America, like Hudson, NY and surrounding Columbia County, has the lawyer. Oh, there are more, but anyone reading this knows exactly what I mean. For more than 50 years, Carmi was the go-to person if you really needed help.

Here’s just a story that makes my eyes water when I tell it (which is why I try not to tell it on the radio). I had another hero, a man named Aaron Mitrani. Aaron was a social worker who ran the Bronx House Emanuel Camps in Copake, NY for years. When Aaron was dying, he called me and asked me for a favor.

As I would have done anything for him, I decided to help him. It seemed like as a social worker he didn’t have a lot of money, but he had a house in Ancram, Columbia County. The will Aaron wrote with his first wife left the house to the offspring of the family. Aaron had remarried and upon his death his wife would have been left virtually destitute. So Aaron asked me to figure out how his second wife could have the house. Of course, not being a lawyer or even that smart, I called the only guy you go to, Carmi Rapport.

When I told Carmi what I needed, he replied, “Sure” and asked for Aaron’s address. When I told her, with some trepidation, that Aaron had very little money, Carmi said something like, “Shut up. That’s why I cry.

Next thing I know, Carmi went to Aaron’s and fixed everything. It’s Carmi and that’s why, despite a whole host of hungry for-profit lawyers coming to Hudson, Carmi has remained the best and most trusted lawyer around. It’s also why he has led the boards of the Berkshire Taconic Community Foundation, Hudson’s Hospital, and countless other unpaid initiatives where he has distinguished himself.

At some point, Carmi decided he wanted to leave the law firm that had his name on the door. I have no idea what prompted him to do this, but knowing Carmi, I’m sure he had good reason to leave and request that his name be removed from the gate. Of course, I could guess that philosophical reasons had prompted him to leave. You know the world is not filled with Carmi Reports. His adult children adored him and he was very proud of them and their accomplishments.

Carmi’s name was therefore no longer on the door of the company he was responsible for creating. The reason this column is important is not just to honor a great man and his contributions, but also because I’m sure anyone reading this will know someone who left an indelible impression on their community and their life. Integrity is key. When it’s time to move on, they’ll know.

My feeling is that a higher power had an eye on Carmi and her wonderful wife, Lynn, and every once in a while a really good soul comes along and leaves us much richer. For that, I am grateful.

“No veterinarian is left behind.” How Subway Military Veterans Mentor Sat, 12 Nov 2022 06:05:49 +0000

At a restaurant in Maple Grove on Friday, a group of military veterans spoke about their mission in the civilian world.

Service for those who served.

“We’re here to support each other, and no veterinarian is left behind,” says Joe Durocher, Hennepin County Veterans Court Volunteer Coordinator.

“Going from the army to civilian life is a difficult thing,” adds Tom McKnuckles, who served in the US Marines during the Gulf War. “It’s very real.”

The veterans board is a way to help other struggling veterans.

“The purpose of the court is to try to divert vets to a less traditional, less consequential program where they would go to jail or jail and divert them to treatment,” Durocher said.

He explains that his job is to train volunteer veteran mentors, who help vets with service-related trauma: those facing charges ranging from shoplifting to assault.

The idea is to help these vets deal with their underlying issues instead of staying in a jail cell.

“The triple threat it’s about – anger, addiction, and PTSD. A lot of veterans served, wrote a blank check when they served, and when they came back, a lot of them are struggling” Durocher notes, “We just come together and support them and try to encourage vets to get the help they need to empower them to find their own path along the way.”

He says he trained 13 mentors and matched them with nine veterans.

But after the pandemic closures and delays, Durocher says the need for more volunteers is urgent.

“That was one of my biggest struggles, just coming back and trying to find work, and never feeling satisfied with what I was doing,” McKnuckles said.

Now a social worker, he says Durocher recruited him as a mentor at Veterans’ Court – in part because of his struggles after returning home.

“It’s about having people in your life tell you that it’s okay to make mistakes, it’s okay to be human, because that’s what life is,” McKnuckles says.

But sometimes tragedy does happen – even when a veteran appears to be recovering.

“I’ve had people die in my life, but I’ve never known anyone who was murdered,” says Larry Fyten, a US Army veteran who is also a mentor in the program. “I didn’t know how to treat it.”

Fyten says he mentored a military veteran named Ross Wentz, who struggled with drugs and alcohol.

He adds that he and Wentz have become close, going to church together and praying together – and that about a month and a half ago Wentz called him to tell him he was drug and drug free. the alcohol.

Then, Fyten learned that Wentz had been murdered while staying at a sober recovery home.

“We have a relationship now with his mother and his daughter and his sister. So we have a memorial service for this coming Saturday, a week from tomorrow,” he said calmly. “We need to love each other. I think that’s a basic message, to love and to serve. If we do this, everything will be fine. »

The fight for veterans is a national issue.

The Council on Criminal Justice – a policy research group – says about a third of those who have served our country continue to serve their time behind bars.

Veterans’ courts are an alternative.

“I’m cautiously optimistic anyway, that this will be a good thing for veterans in the long run,” says Judge Dale O. Harris, with the 6e Judicial district.

He presides over a veterans tribunal in Duluth.

Last August, Governor Tim Walz signed into law the “Restorative Justice for Veterans Act”.

While some veterans courts have been operating for more than a decade, the measure makes the programs available statewide.

Harris says veterans have to work hard to prove they’re trying to make a change.

“Sometimes it seems like a very monumental task to move all of these pieces in the right direction,” he says. “But it’s one of the most rewarding jobs I’ve done in my legal career.

The Restorative Justice for Veterans Act is the first of its kind in the country.

Since launching last year, 5 EYEWITNESS NEWS has learned that at least 100 Minnesota veterans have participated.

Meanwhile, Durocher says the vets in his program meet about once a week, for a year and a half.

After struggling with alcohol and a divorce, he says he leads a sober life and is very happy.

Just this week, a panel of Hennepin County judges honored him for his mentorship.

He calls it, pays it to the next one.

“It’s an absolute honor and privilege to not only coordinate the volunteers, but also to reach out to the vets who are in court,” Durocher said. “Try to inspire hope and let them know that the best is yet to come.”

You can read more about Hennepin County Veterans Court here.

2022 Fourth Child Welfare Minister appointed Tue, 08 Nov 2022 11:04:18 +0000

Claire Coutinho (Photo: Her Majesty’s Government)

The government has named its fourth child welfare minister of the year ahead of a critical period for the sector.

Claire Coutinho, appointed minister delegate to the Ministry of Education last month, was in charge of social protection, as well as special educational needs and disability and other issues concerning vulnerable children and young children.

Coutinho succeeds Kelly Tolhurst, who left his post as minister for schools and children in October, just a month after the announcement of his appointment.

Unlike Tolhurst, Coutinho will not combine his child welfare and vulnerable children’s welfare responsibilities with overseeing school policy, while his appointment also brings child welfare under the responsibility of a junior minister. Tolhurst had held the position at the highest level of Minister of State.

The new Minister’s praise for social workers

While her ministerial memoir was confirmed today, Coutinho indicated she would be responsible for child welfare on Friday, when she tweeted her appreciation for social workers ahead of the annual social worker awards ceremony of the year.

As with new Education Secretary Gillian Keegan – who became the fifth holder of the post in 2022 last month – Coutinho’s appointment comes before a period of significant change for the sector, with four major reports in their bins.

The sector faces upheaval and demand pressures

The DfE had pledged to respond to three of them – the final report of the Independent Child Welfare Review, the Child Welfare Practices Review Committee investigation into the murders of ‘Arthur Labinjo-Hughes and Star Hobson and the study by the Competition and Markets Authority on the social protection of children. care market – before the end of 2022.

However, it is unclear how far that timetable will hold under new Prime Minister Rishi Sunak.

Welfare Reform Proposals

  1. Independent Child Welfare Review (May 2022): this proposal proposed to increase the skills and retention of social workers by introducing national salary scales, linked to progression in an entry-level framework and the introduction of expert practitioner status for those completing the framework , as well as increased investment in early support and family care, the abolition of the role of independent reviewer and regional commissioning of care placements to reduce the hold of large providers on the market.
  2. Child Protection Practices Review Committee investigation into the murders of Arthur Labinjo-Hughes and Star Hobson (May 2022) – this called for the creation of multi-agency safeguarding centers to lead child protection cases, to improve inter-agency work and practice skills.
  3. Study by the Competition and Markets Authority on the child welfare market (March 2022) – this has encouraged the creation of national and regional bodies to help councils find the right placements for children, improve value for money and reduce out-of-area placements, and shift the supply of placement agencies independent to board managed services, also to enhance value.
  4. Independent Child Sexual Abuse Inquiry (October 2022) – it proposed to impose on professionals and other people in close contact with children the duty to report child sexual abuse, to fight against the under-identification of the CSA, the creation of child protection authorities for England and Wales to improve practice and advise governments on policy and the professional regulation of staff in children’s homes and care of young people.

At the same time, the sector faces growing demand and financial pressures as it emerges from the pandemic and deals with the impact of the current high rate of inflation.

Child protection inquiries hit record highs in 2021-22up 10% on the previous year, thanks to a 9% increase in referrals to children’s social services, according to figures from the DfE, while the Association of Directors of Children’s Services calculated that The councils are facing an almost £800million shortfall in their children’s services budgets this year.

It has raised serious concerns about the impact of next week’s autumn statement, when Chancellor Jeremy Hunt is expected to announce £35billion in annual public spending cuts. These are due to come into effect after the end of the government’s current spending review period in 2025. However, in the meantime, councils will still have to manage budgets that are lower in real terms than those projected at the time of the spending review, in 2021. , due to the much higher rate of inflation.

NYC task force proposes budget changes Fri, 04 Nov 2022 22:32:00 +0000

A work group responsible for rethinking How New York City Distributes School Funding released recommendations on Friday that could help change the way hundreds of millions of dollars are distributed to more than 1,500 public schools.

A large number of proposals if passed, it would have implications for a wide range of schools, including increasing funding for campuses that serve more homeless students and those living in poverty.

Other recommendations would impact a relatively small set of schools, but are nonetheless likely to cause controversy, including a proposal to eliminate a special boost in 13 of the most selective high schools in the city.

None of the ideas are binding – it is now up to Schools Chancellor David Banks and Mayor Eric Adams to decide whether or not to change the city’s funding formula for the next school year. The release of the report may create political pressure to act, as a previous task force convened under the last administration collapsed before officially releasing recommendations.

But enacting the task force’s proposals would either require a large influx of new funding or major cuts to some campuses, both of which would face political hurdles.

The task force report focuses on the city “Fair Student Funding” formula, which channels about two-thirds of the money paid into school budgets. Schools typically receive a base amount per student — this year it’s about $4,197. Students with additional needs — including people with disabilities, English language learners, and students with low test scores — come with extra dollars on top of the baseline.

The city’s funding formula is among the most progressive in the country, but supporters have long been calling for tweaks. The latest task force was created after the city’s Education Policy Panel, which is largely appointed by the mayor, took the unusual step of vagainst the funding formula for this school year. Although the formula was later approvedofficials promised to launch a working group to solicit feedback.

The Report’s Proposals Taken Together costs between $375 million and $983 milliondepending on the specific combination of recommendations included, according to Department of Education figures.

Without additional funding, directing more money to some campuses will necessitate cuts to others. Larger schools and those with fewer low-income students would face significant cuts under this, city ​​projection shows. This could be a political no-start, since the vast majority of schools are already face cuts due to declining enrollment.

Alternatively, the city could allocate new funds to city schools to pay for the changes to ensure they don’t cut into school budgets. But senior officials have already signaled that they plan to do general cuts in city agenciesincluding the Department of Education.

In a letter To task force members, Banks wrote that the Education Department would evaluate the proposals “in the current fiscal environment” and use the recommendations to apply the formula “most fairly for next year.”

The city’s teachers’ union – which participated in the task force alongside parent leaders, policy experts and advocates – raised concerns about how the proposals would be funded in the days leading up to the release of the report, according to a copy of a letter to another task force members obtained by Chalkbeat.

“Given the losses our schools and students have suffered in recent years, the last thing the system should be doing is setting up a ‘Hunger Games’ scenario that will pit school against school,” Michael wrote. Mulgrew, union president. “The plan must include a disclaimer that will prevent schools from seeing their budgets cut if these recommendations are adopted.”

Jasmine Gripper, executive director of advocacy group Alliance for Quality Education and co-chair of the task force, said questions about how to pay for proposals were a source of tension within the group.

“What we’re trying to do is direct more resources to the schools that have the greatest need and we don’t want to rob Peter to pay Paul,” she said. At the same time, “there are people who think the system doesn’t need more money, it just needs to be better distributed.

Gripper added that the task force only had three months to come up with proposals, limiting the group’s ability to conduct a comprehensive review, although she said the current recommendations were a good start. The report also proposes that the group continue to meet.

For now, though, here’s what the task force’s current recommendations would do:

Channeling more money to homeless students and those living in poverty

Almost 10% of the city’s students live in temporary accommodationincluding an recent influx of migrants from South American countries. Although some federal funding is allocated to homeless students, the city’s formula does not provide additional money for these children. The task force wants the city to change that.

The Department of Education should increase the base amount of per-student funding from 12% to 24% per homeless student, the report recommends, which would cost between $43 million and $86 million. Without new funding for this change, the city projects that the new burden of homeless students would shift funding from approximately 700 low-poverty schools to those with higher poverty.

The report argues that additional funds are needed to combat chronic absenteeism, higher dropout rates and intense stressors related to housing instability. Principals can spend the money allocated through the funding formula as they see fit, but the report suggests that principals use it to hire additional social workers or partner with community organizations – groups that often provide social services, outreach, etc.

Children living in poverty – about 70% of the student population – should also receive additional funding, the report says. The city already allocates additional funds to low-income students, but it is limited to schools that serve students below fourth grade. Raising the poverty burden, even modestly, is expensive — between $138 million and $276 million, depending on how aggressively it is raised — because such a large percentage of students come from low-income families. .

Nix the special bonus for elite high schools

The city’s funding formula is designed to send additional resources to schools that enroll students in need. But a group of 13 elite high schools – serving relatively little Black and Latino Students, English Learners, or Students with Disabilities – receive a special bonus. This year it’s about $1,049 per student.

The report recommends eliminating extra funding to those 13 schools, which include eight specialist high schools that admit students on the basis of a single exam. Instead, the city should distribute that money, about $26 million, “to support advanced courses for more students,” according to the task force.

Funding for city schools should primarily bring more resources to students in need, and “a weight for specialist college high schools does not necessarily align with this overall vision of greater equity,” the recommendation says.

The report does not specify precisely how to redistribute the money. The proposal is likely to prove controversial, as the move would cut funding for some of the city’s best-known and most politically connected schools, including Stuyvesant (which would lose $4.3 million), Brooklyn Tech ($8 million ) and Bronx Science ($4 million). ).

New funding for schools in need

With few exceptions, the city’s funding formula allocates funds based on the number of students rather than to specific schools. But the task force recommends that the city add a new funding stream specifically for schools that serve unusually high concentrations of homeless students, people with disabilities, English language learners, homestay students and those from low-income households.

“Schools that serve students with a greater myriad of needs need more resources to support these populations than individual student level weightings provide,” according to the report.

The top third of schools with a higher concentration of high-need students would receive additional funding while the majority of schools forgo it. Depending on the proposal’s exact implementation model, even very poor schools could lose money because they are not serving high concentrations of other needy student groups. The Department of Education predicts the change would cost between $60 million and $120 million.

Increase base funding for all campuses – but concerns about small schools loom large

In addition to per-student funding, each school receives $225,000, traditionally to pay for a principal and secretary. The report recommends increasing this amount to cover additional positions, as some campuses may struggle to pay for a full range of mental health and academic staff — especially those with fewer students.

The task force recommends two possible funding increases. We would add $105,000, which is roughly the cost of a social worker. Another would increase the base allowance by $345,000, which would include the cost of a social worker, guidance counselor and assistant principal.

These proposals are costly: between 160 and 526 million dollars. Without additional funding, the proposal would represent a significant transfer of resources from larger schools to smaller ones and would only modestly increase funding for poorer schools, according to the Department for Education’s analysis. The 10 largest schools in the city would lose an average of $712 per student.

Increasing funding for schools, regardless of the number of students enrolled, helps small schools, which have increased in number as enrollment dropped dramatically. But it also raises questions about whether declining campuses should end up with significantly more funding per student even as their ability to offer a full range of programs diminishes.

“Increased investment in schools with fewer than 200 students can only prolong an inevitable decline in funding to levels that cannot support ever-smaller schools,” the report notes. “Since these schools largely serve students in need, it behooves New York public schools to find longer-term solutions to the growing number of small schools.”

Alex Zimmerman is a reporter for Chalkbeat New York, covering New York’s public schools. Contact Alex at

Oxford Hills School District Holds Public Comment Period on Proposed Gender Identity Policy Wed, 02 Nov 2022 11:04:00 +0000

NORWAY, Maine (WMTW) — The Oxford Hills School District held a public forum on Monday to give community members an opportunity to comment on a proposed gender identity policy for K-12 schools.

MSAD 17 held a first reading of the policy at its last school board meeting in October. It aims to provide support to students of all genders and sexual identities by fostering a safe and comfortable environment free from harassment.

The most recent data Maine Youth Integrated Health A survey shows that about 21.2% of Maine high school students identify as gay or lesbian, bisexual, or something other than straight.

The school board says the proposed policy is necessary to ensure the school is in compliance with federal laws and state guidelines, including Title IX.

The public consultation period lasted almost three hours. Most speakers were against the proposed policies. Many have focused on what they call parental rights.

“A seven-year-old child can choose to hide their gender identity from their parents or legal guardian and teachers, staff, administration, coaches, they will be required to keep this information secret,” the parent said. Charity Johnson.

The policy aims to encourage students to talk about their gender and sexuality with teachers and trusted counselors in private and to worry about who would allow teachers to withhold important information from parents.

“Our schools shouldn’t be essentially encouraging kids to live a double life, one where they’re one person at school and another at home, which can be mentally and emotionally taxing,” parent Terry Brooks said. “Instead, we should be working with families to help and support children with their mental and emotional well-being.”

Proponents of the policy argue that it would create an essential safe space for students whose parents do not support their gender identity.

“There are times when these young people need increased support from the community to feel worthy, safe and fully valued,” said social worker Amanda Miller.

Administrations emphasize that teachers and staff members are still required to inform parents if their student is in danger.

If the school board decides to go ahead with the policy, it will hold a vote to adopt it after a second reading. This would likely take place at the school board meeting in December.

Children with disabilities ‘always lose’ appeals from Virginia schools, lawsuit says Sun, 30 Oct 2022 11:30:41 +0000


Northern Virginia school systems grant less than 1% of requests from parents of children with disabilities seeking to enroll in schools that better meet their needs, according to data submitted as part of a lawsuit in civil rights.

The plaintiffs allege the state Department of Education has “retained” officials who almost always decide cases in its favor, according to the class action lawsuit filed in federal court last month by the parents of an autistic student. The state has prevented children with disabilities from getting the educational support they need, parents say, disadvantaging a generation of people with special needs.

The lawsuit, filed in the U.S. District Court for the Eastern District of Virginia, told the story of a college student known only as “DC,” a 19-year-old who suffers from autism, attention deficit/hyperactivity disorder and Tourette’s syndrome. , among other troubles. Lawyers in the case shared the data with The Washington Post.

In 2008, according to the lawsuit, Fairfax County Public Schools found DC eligible for special education services and placed him in a public school. There, according to the lawsuit, DC struggled academically and behaviorally, exhibiting “severe aggressive and violent behavior” — sometimes including self-harm and ending in hospitalization.

When his parents, Trevor and Vivian Chaplick, requested that he be placed in a private residential program, their request was denied. Although a social worker warned the Chaplicks they would lose, according to the lawsuit, they still appealed – and lost in 2015.

In a second appeal in 2021, they filed Freedom of Information Act requests to determine how often parents like them have won when they challenge decisions about the care of their children. disabled children. What the Chaplicks found troubled them.

“Parents and students with disabilities in Virginia almost always lose, especially in Northern Virginia,” the lawsuit says.

Virginia still fails people with disabilities, say families who beg lawmakers to ‘see’ them

The Individuals with Disabilities Education Act, which protects students with disabilities, allows parents to appeal school placements. But between 2010 and July 2021, only three out of 395 petitions in Northern Virginia have prevailed.

Across Virginia, the results weren’t much better, according to the data. Only 13 parents in 847 cases, or about 1.5 percent, successfully challenged school district decisions about their children’s placements. By comparison, the lawsuit said nearly 35% of parents in California — the state with the most students with special needs in the nation — have won such cases, as have about 15 percent of Maryland parents. Virginia served more than 169,000 students with disabilities from 2021 to 2022, officials said.

In an email, Virginia Department of Education spokesman Charles B. Pyle said the agency does not comment on ongoing litigation.

“The department is committed to ensuring that students with disabilities receive all services and supports to which they are entitled under federal and state law,” he said.

In a statement, Fairfax County Public Schools said it could not comment on ongoing litigation. “We are ready to work with anyone to improve services and opportunities for our students,” the statement said.

An autistic teenager needed mental health help. He spent weeks in the emergency room instead.

But the Chaplicks say in their lawsuit that Fairfax and the state failed to provide appropriate educational resources despite their child’s desperate need.

“Most of the time we had to deal with his self-harming behaviors,” recalls Vivian Chaplick. “He was self-harming. He would try to hurt others. It was a battle trying to keep him safe.

The lawsuit alleges that the Virginia Department of Education “carefully curated” a list of hearing officers who almost always find for the state.

These officers, who are state-certified attorneys, can earn more than $40,000 on a case, according to the lawsuit. Because they have a financial interest by keeping the state happy — by getting referrals in exchange for denials — they are biased, the lawsuit says: Two-thirds of the 22 state officers examined in the lawsuit have never ruled for parents in the entire state. state, nor 83% in Northern Virginia.

He added that state officials “train [officers], pay ’em, name ’em…all with the promise of a stable, long-term revenue stream that requires no marketing spend for auditioning agents who simply refrain from biting the hand that feeds itself. This creates a group of “conniving hearing officers” who, if they do not support the state, may not receive cases in the future.

“The result was an entire generation of disabled children and their parents faced with an almost insurmountable obstacle,” the lawsuit said.

Trevor Chaplick, a corporate lawyer, said raising a child with a disability can be “one of the toughest parenting situations you can imagine”. Chaplick said he was grateful his family had resources to help his child, who now lives at his school. But the state is not doing enough to help those with limited means, according to Chaplick.

He recalls attending a self-defense class for parents of autistic children, learning techniques to keep themselves and their children safe during emotional outbursts.

“I will never forget sitting in this room seeing a cross section of society… the poor, the middle class,” he said. “They were people on edge financially and emotionally.”

Lawsuit comes after US Department of Education slams Virginia for failing to provide sufficient services for students with disabilities in 2020. A report by the nonprofit group American Institutes for Research commissioned by the Fairfax School Board released earlier this month also found that students with disabilities across the state are more likely than their peers to be suspended and fail state tests.

Callie Oettinger, an advocate for improving Virginia’s treatment of students with special needs, said in an interview that she struggled with Fairfax Public Schools for years after the system failed to provide services. that she deemed necessary for her son, who is dyslexic.

Although Oettinger suspected her son had dyslexia in grade one, the school system refused to assess him until grade six, telling him that “boys are slower to read,” he said. she stated. (Fairfax County declined to discuss the case, citing confidentiality concerns.)

Once her son was diagnosed, the school system refused to provide a curriculum that Oettinger deemed appropriate. A hearing officer agreed a program was needed, she said, but found the school provided free and appropriate education, as required by law.

The result was inevitable: “We worked with him ourselves,” Oettinger said.

“That’s what parents do,” she says. “It tears families apart. It stresses marriages. This puts stress on children and siblings, and Fairfax County knows this is happening. And you see it happen again and again.

Bill Hogan, an investigative reporter formerly with the Center for Public Integrity and other news outlets, said he adopted his 3-year-old daughter from Russia in 1993. She suffered from multiple mental health issues. learning, including dyslexia, he said, possibly due to fetal alcohol effects. syndrome.

When she was a student at Fairfax County Schools in the mid-1990s, he fought for years with the district, culminating in litigation. At one point, school experts said Hogan’s daughter would never learn to read – but they would not pay for a private school placement which Hogan said could help.

Hogan ended up paying out of pocket and then settled with the school system around the time his daughter turned 18. Her daughter, now 33, is literate with a high school diploma.

“The system didn’t help her,” he says. “I feel like I helped her.”

]]> Two Dads Recall The Incredible Moment They First Met Their Daughter Thu, 27 Oct 2022 22:19:13 +0000

Brian Ritter said he didn’t think becoming a father was a possibility for him until he met partner Michael Stribling.

Even after being together, the couple didn’t feel like parenthood was their reality, until they met their daughter for the very first time.

Michael Stribling and Brian Ritter are discharged from hospital with their daughter Ella on November 28, 2021.

Courtesy of Michael Stribling and Brian Ritter

“The discussion about ‘Should we be parents?’ It was just like, ‘Yeah, I think we could do this and give a kid a really amazing life,'” Ritter told “Good Morning America” ​​of the couple’s first conversations about it.

However, as a same-sex couple, the two said they feared they would face discrimination when looking to adopt. In the end, they were able to find the agency that was right for them.

“They were very supportive, very, very open. And I think once there was a game, [the adoption process] happened very, very quickly, which is very unusual,” Ritter said.

On November 28, 2021, the couple welcomed their daughter Ella into the world.

“I never thought it was possible. We didn’t expect this kind of luck,” Stribling said. “The moment we laid eyes on this girl was the most amazing [feeling].”

PHOTO: Baby Ella was born on November 28, 2021.

Baby Ella was born on November 28, 2021.

Courtesy of Michael Stribling and Brian Ritter

The emotional moment was filmed and stribling later posted on TikTokwhere it has since garnered over 1.4 million likes.

“I think people have connected to it because people are connected to vulnerability,” Stribling said. “When there is a true, honest and vulnerable moment, people can connect to [it] — we are all human.”

The two said the video that became a viral hit was just the epitome of a very “serendipity” journey.

“It was such a beautiful, stressful, but beautiful trip,” Stribling added.

PHOTO: Brian Ritter pictured with his daughter Ella.

Brian Ritter pictured with his daughter Ella.

Courtesy of Michael Stribling and Brian Ritter

After being matched for the first time with a biological mother through their adoption agency, the couple had the chance to meet the woman, with whom they said they felt a deep connection.

“We got to know her and some of her background and history, there were connections there too. She and I both lost our mothers quite young,” Ritter said, adding that the two “talked about it and went through this process of … adoption,” from that shared perspective.

Stribling said their daughter’s birth mother looked like her “identical cousin” and he immediately felt a connection to her.

“What’s crazy about adoption is that there’s so much joy for us and at the same time there’s so much pain for her,” Stribling said. “It’s an emotional rollercoaster.”

PHOTO: Michael Stribling pictured with his daughter Ella.

Michael Stribling pictured with his daughter Ella.

Courtesy of Michael Stribling and Brian Ritter

Five minutes after the meeting, and just three weeks before her due date, their daughter’s birth mother made the decision to give the baby to Ritter and Stribling.

“She called us on her way home with the social worker and said she wanted to tell us herself,” Ritter said.

The two said they immediately started preparing for the baby with the help of their family, who stepped in to support the couple.

“I don’t think we’ve ever felt such a village of love around us, it was so incredibly beautiful,” Stribling added. “We had no idea what to do, but our village literally hovered around us and supported us through this journey. [and] honestly until today.”

PHOTO: Michael Stribling, 37, pictured with Brian Ritter, 46, and their daughter Ella.

Michael Stribling, 37, pictured with Brian Ritter, 46, and their daughter Ella.

Courtesy of Michael Stribling and Brian Ritter

Almost a year later, the couple is about to celebrate their daughter’s first birthday. Looking back on their trip and the “serendipity” of their viral moment, they said they were glad so many people could empathize with them and hoped the video would push back on some of the discrimination some gay couples face when they are trying to raise a family.

“There are kids out there who need new families and same-sex couples can do that,” Stribling said.

“It’s possible to be done and it’s filled with a lot of joy,” Ritter added.

Growing Through Pain | god tv news Tue, 18 Oct 2022 15:15:29 +0000

A year ago today, my life changed. I went through so many different emotions. I was sad, upset, frustrated, hurt, upset and many other emotions. I cried, laughed, cried, worked, cried, and then I cried again. Did I mention I cried? I will come back to that in a moment.

I had never experienced so many changes at one point in my life. My environment, my status, my location – everything – has changed. But I didn’t know that change would be the thing that would heal me. The change became my teacher and revealed a version of me I never knew existed. We have no control over most of the unfortunate situations that happen to us, but we have a choice in how we react. We can bend under pressure, or we can rise. And don’t get me wrong, sometimes bending and bending is necessary. I bent and twisted so much I thought I was a pretzel or car wash air dummy shaking randomly in every direction the wind took me. However, I decided to let folding and bending reposition me for the better! And so, I got up.

I have always seen myself as a strong person. You must have been from where I grew up (thanks to Deepside Ft. Lauderdale). There were many scary times in my life, so I became tough and rarely showed emotion and weakness. Every time I had a loving moment with a friend that made me feel special, I would say, “You know I’m a thug, don’t make me cry!” And that was because at that time, I thought it was a weakness to be vulnerable. During my journey as a social worker, I realized how my need to survive had hardened many parts of me. So over the past year, I’ve spent a lot of time leaning into my emotions and really tapping into the *what* and the *why*. Anything that is ignored cannot heal.

I’m here to tell you that vulnerability is the greatest gift you can give yourself. I learned that I deserve healing, peace, restoration, wholeness, and all the good I can handle (and more!). The only way for me to receive anything new is to be willing to let go of anything old, no matter how painful or sentimental. You cannot receive anything new into your hands if your hands are full. You cannot pour into others if your well has dried up. And while I feel like I’ve had more tears than I thought possible, I’ve also learned that I have more strength and love than I ever imagined.

This trip was possible thanks to the people of my village. You know who you are. Thank you for the endless calls, texts, late night sessions, and taking care of my darkness. Thank you for the recordings, the tough love, the gentle nudges, the affirmations and the reminders. You all helped me realize that I had gained so much at a time when I thought I had lost everything. I am so grateful that God has you in my life.

So, kudos to you if you’ve made it this far. I’m generally a private person and don’t often share personal details of my life. However, I wanted to invite you on the healing journey because I wanted to be different in a world where we hide our true selves so much. And I selfishly want this to appear on my timeline in a year! As a social worker, I talk to people daily about living in their truth and being comfortable with the stories that make their stories beautiful. And mine is no different. I also want others to know that *we* (you and I) can do hard things. Sometimes, in the face of our greatest challenge, we wonder if and how we will make it through to the other side. I had no plan or guide on how to heal, so I took it one day at a time. And if I’m being honest, it was minute by minute some days.

As the saying goes, I’m not where I want to be, but thank God I’m not where I used to be. I am excited about my future and what God has in store for me. It has already given me some insights. I pray that your heart will be encouraged no matter what you are going through. Even if it feels like it’s going to wipe you out, know that you’re much more powerful than you think. And even if your voice shakes, speak your truth until you recover.

As a bonus, I wanted to share some encouragement/reminders I received along the way. May they bless you and be a balm in your moments of need or of reflection.

1. “If it was like that, you wouldn’t have left. Your expectations should be what they show you, not what they say. (paraphrased) – TCJ

2. “You can trust yourself.” –JS

3. “Being in the process is a form of progress.” -CJA Prophetess

4. “Don’t harden yourself because if you hold back parts of yourself, the love you give will be perverted because it’s not the purest version of yourself.” -Apostle KA

5. “You can make the right decision and still mourn the loss that comes with that decision.” -TIC Tac

6. “You deserve everything, so don’t accept anything.” I’m proud of you. You have endured the most difficult season of your life with dignity and grace. mom

7. “And we know that all things work together for good to those who love God, to those who are called according to his purpose.” – Romans 8:28


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Neighbors are scared, looking for change after shooting at Hedingham community Sun, 16 Oct 2022 00:57:00 +0000

RALEIGH, North Carolina — A community is coping after learning that the shooter who took five lives there is a teenager.

“My first thought when I found out he went to my son’s school was that it could have happened at school,” neighbor Rahnisha Finnell said, which was very traumatic.

The 15-year-old left a trail of terror through the Hedingham neighborhood on Thursday.

Police have not confirmed the model of the weapon the teenager was carrying, or how it was obtained.

But there is no minimum age to own a shotgun or rifle in North Carolina. Something that Hedingham resident Isaac Hernandez finds troubling.

“There should be an age restriction like cigarettes or beer,” Hernandez said. “You can kill someone by pressing a button”

You must be 18 to buy a long gun from a dealer, but there are some loopholes.

North Carolina is less restrictive than many other states according to Sean Holihan of Giffords Law Center, a gun violence prevention group

“North Carolina laws need to be updated to ensure children cannot access and possess these types of dangerous weapons,” Holihan said.

North Carolina does not currently have a law requiring unattended firearms to be locked or stored in a certain manner. Firearms should also not be sold with a locking device.

However, adults with a minor in the home could be charged with a misdemeanor if a child is able to access a firearm without their permission.

Former social worker Sabrena Dewberry led a prayer group today and hopes to make connections that can prevent future acts of violence.

“We as parents are responsible and take responsibility for what we have in our homes and what our children have access to,” Dewberry said. “My hope would be that communities can come together before a tragedy happens.”

Nervous, scared neighbors in the Hedingham community

But Triangle Business Journal writer Evan Hoopfer told WRAL News that was how he felt after the mass shooting on Thursday.

“I hope my family doesn’t die in a mass shooting,” Hoopfer said.

Hoopfer lives in the Hedingham neighborhood where he roams with his wife, McKenzie and infant son, Charlie.

Hoopfer said that during filming, his editor texted him to lock his doors, warning him of the nearby shooter.

As a husband, and now a father, he fears the kind of world Charlie will live in.

“He’s going to have this threat for the rest of his life and his childhood when he should be concerned about boys or girls or pimples and stuff like that, he’s going to be concerned about mass shootings and so am I.” , said Hoopfer.

This endless loop of a deadly mass shooting, the mourning, the media coverage and then the repetition.

So if its title sounds depressing, Hoopfer said yes.

“You should be depressed about this state in our country and what we’re going through because nothing will happen,” Hoopfer said. “Nothing happened.”

We expect to hear more information about the shooting on Thursday when the five-day report is released.