Monthly Archives: August 2012

Immigration Benefits Available for Immigrants Affected by Hurricane Isaac

U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS) reminds customers affected by Hurricane Isaac of certain U.S. immigration benefits that may be available to them.

USCIS understands that a natural disaster can affect an individual’s ability to maintain lawful immigration status. Eligible individuals may apply for temporary relief measures, including:

               A change or extension of nonimmigrant status for an individual currently in the United States, even when the request is filed after the authorized period of admission has expired;

               Extension or re-parole of individuals previously granted parole by USCIS;

               Advance parole, and expedited processing of advance parole applications;

               Expedited adjudication of requests for off-campus employment authorization applications for F-1 students experiencing severe economic hardship;

               Expedited processing of immigrant petitions for immediate relatives of U.S. citizens and the spouses and children of lawful permanent residents (LPRs) whose priority dates are current;

               Expedited adjudication of employment authorization applications; and

               Assistance to LPRs stranded overseas without immigration or travel documents, such as Permanent Resident Cards (Green Cards). USCIS and the Department of State will coordinate on these matters when LPRs are stranded in places that do not have a local USCIS office.

Visitors traveling under the Visa Waiver Program may visit a USCIS local office for assistance. Individuals affected by the hurricane who are at a U.S. airport may contact the nearest U.S. Customs and Border Protection office for assistance.

For more information on USCIS humanitarian programs, visit or call the National Customer Service Center at 1-800-375-5283. Hearing-impaired persons can call 1-800-767-1833.

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Posted by on August 31, 2012 in Uncategorized


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Additional Resources for Families and Children Experiencing Divorce

Single Parent Resource Center

             The Center Web site contains a network of single parent self-help groups, along with information and referral, seminars, consultation, and a resource library. There is a separate group for men, and coed groups are available. In addition, the Center is working on groups for homeless single parents and mothers coming out of prison. A newsletter is available, as are guidelines and materials for starting parenting and teen groups. Write: SingleParentResourceCenter, 31 E. 28th St., New York, NY10016; Call: (212) 951–7030; Fax: (212) 951–7037; E-mail:;




10 Steps Parents Can Take To Prevent Substance Abuse (From Family Matters: Substance Abuse and The American Family. A CASA White Paper)

                         Set a good example;

                        Know your child’s whereabouts, activities, and friends;

                        Eat dinner together regularly;

                        Set fair rules and hold your child to them;

                        Be caring and supportive of your child;

                        Maintain open lines of communication;

                        Surround your child with positive role models;

                        Incorporate religion or spirituality into family life;

                        Learn the signs and symptoms of teen substance abuse and conditions    that increase risk; and

                        If problems occur, get help promptly.

             All adolescents, and those in the foster care system in particular, need comprehensive, developmentally appropriate alcohol, tobacco, and other drug prevention. Together, peer education and counseling, family therapy, recreational activities, mentoring, education programs, and health counseling can help them avoid substance abuse.

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Posted by on August 31, 2012 in Uncategorized


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Private Support Organizations for Families Going Through Divorce/Family Separation

Center for Navigating Family Change

            A page on the Center’s Web site contains links to several resources and suggested readings for parents and, separately, for children:


HIV InSite

            HIV InSite is operated by the Center for HIV Information (CHI) at the University of California San Francisco (UCSF). The site includes an extensive list of described links to Orphans & Affected Families: Related Resources, organized within such categories as guidelines and best.


National Association of School Psychologists

            The Association’s Web site includes Divorce: A Parents’ Guide for Supporting Children by John E. Desrochers, Ph.D., ABPP, New Canaan (CT) Public Schools (at:



 National Organization of Single Mothers (NOSM)

            This networking system helps single mothers meet the challenges of daily life with wisdom, dignity, confidence, and courage. Dues are $19. They provide assistance in starting new groups. Write: NOSM, P.O. Box 68, Midland, NC 28107; Call: (704) 888–KIDS, Fax: (704) 888–1752, E-mail:



Parenting 24/7 online article, The Effects of Divorce on Children

            An online article by Robert Hughes, Jr., Ph.D., from the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign, asks and answers the question: “What are the factors in divorcing families that contribute to children having difficulties and what are the factors that foster children’s adaptation?”



 Parents Without Partners

            This is an educational organization of single parents (either divorced, separated, widowed, or never married). The site contains a newsletter, online chat room, and chapter development guidelines. Dues are $20–$40. Write: PWP, 1650 S. Dixie Highway, Suite 510, Boca Raton, FL33432; Call: (800) 637–7974, (561) 391–8833; Fax: (561) 395–8557; E-mail:



 Single Mothers by Choice

            This site offers support and information to mature, single women who have chosen, or who are considering, single motherhood. Services include “Thinkers” workshops, a quarterly newsletter, and membership. For a brochure and list of back issues of the newsletter, write: SMC, P.O. Box 1642, Gracie Square Station, New York, NY 10028; Call: (212) 988–0993.


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Posted by on August 30, 2012 in Uncategorized


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Man Arrested for Attempted International Child Abduction

An Illinois man who traveled to Texas to allegedly have sex with a 14-year-old girl was arrested Tuesday, August 21, 2012, following a sting operation conducted by the Fort Bend County Sheriff’s Office in Texas. The following agencies are assisting in this investigation: U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement’s (ICE) Homeland Security Investigations (HSI), the Sugar Land Police Department, and the Fort Bend County District Attorney’s Office.

James Wean Jr., 49, is charged with attempted aggravated kidnapping after being arrested near a gas station in Pin Oak, Texas, the evening of Aug. 21.

For the past two weeks Wean had been communicating online with a Sheriff’s office special crimes detective who was posing as a teenage girl. Wean drove to Texas from his home in Pearl City, Ill., a small town southwest of Springfield, Ill., near the Missouri border.

Wean originally was communicating with a real girl in Texas. When her parents noticed a strange exchange on Facebook they took away the girl’s electronic devices and called the Sheriff’s office. The indication given to the detective online was that Wean was planning to take the girl away, possibly out of the country.

A team of detectives and deputies captured Wean near a gas station not far from Interstate 10. He is being held in the Fort Bend County Jail without bond and was scheduled to appear before a magistrate Thursday, August 23, 2012.

A second-degree felony carries a punishment of up to 20 years of incarceration with a possible fine not to exceed $10,000.

This investigation was part of Operation Predator, a nationwide HSI initiative to protect children from sexual predators, including those who travel overseas for sex with minors, Internet child pornographers, criminal alien sex offenders and child sex traffickers. HSI encourages the public to report suspected child predators and any suspicious activity through its toll-free hotline at 1-866-DHS-2ICE or by completing its online tip form. Both are staffed around the clock by investigators.

Suspected child sexual exploitation or missing children may be reported to the National Center for Missing & Exploited Children, an Operation Predator partner, at 1-800-843-5678 or

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Posted by on August 29, 2012 in Uncategorized


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Federal Resources for Families Going Through Divorce

Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration’s (SAMHSA’s) Center for Substance Abuse Prevention’s (CSAP’s) A Family Guide To Keeping Youth Mentally Healthy & Drug Free

 This public education Web site communicates with parents and other caring adults about how to promote children’s mental health and prevent the use of alcohol, tobacco, and illegal drugs. The Web site provides tips on talking with your child, getting involved in your child’s life, setting rules with consequences, being a role model, supporting your child’s social development, and monitoring your child’s activities.


 SAMHSA’s Health Information Network (SHIN)

 SHIN (also known as the National Clearinghouse for Alcohol and Drug Information and the Center for Mental Health Services Knowledge Exchange Network clearinghouse) stores publications, video products, and archived Webcasts for and about children of substance abusers and can be ordered free or at cost. Some relevant SAMHSA products available here are of special note:


 SAMHSA’s Children’s Program Kit

 The Children’s Program Kit (2003, Inventory Number: CPKIT-D) is designed to provide materials for substance abuse programs so that they can initiate educational support programs for the children of their clients in substance abuse treatment. The program will teach children skills such as solving problems, coping, social competence, autonomy, and a sense of purpose and future. The toolkit has activities for children in elementary school, middle school, and high school. It contains information for therapists to distribute to their clients to help parents understand the needs of their children, and training materials, including posters and DVDs, for substance abuse treatment staff members who plan to offer support groups for children.

SAMHSA’s Native American Children’s Program Kit

 This edition (2005, Inventory Number: NCPKIT-D) of SAMHSA’s Children’s Program Kit has been adapted for use with and by American-Indian audiences and developed with assistance from White Bison and other American-Indian community members.

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Posted by on August 28, 2012 in Uncategorized


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Facts About Divorce’s Impact on Children


  •  About 40 percent of all children in the United States today are children of divorced parents; 20 to 25 percent of them show signs that they are not dealing well with this change in their family structure and are at risk for negative outcomes, including substance abuse.


  • Children of divorced parents are more likely to engage in substance use and have substance-using friends than children from two-parent homes.


  • In one study, 54 percent of sixth and seventh graders with divorced parents use alcohol compared to 36 percent of children with parents who never divorced.


  • Forty-nine percent of premarital cohabitations are likely to break up within 5 years, compared to 10 percent of those in a first marriage; 62 percent of cohabitations end after 10 years, while the chance of a first marriage ending at that point is 33 percent.


  • In 2005, an estimated 680,000 youths (2.7 percent) aged 12 to 17 had ever been in foster care.


  • Youths who have ever been in foster care had higher rates of past year use of any illicit drug than those who were never in foster care (33.6 vs. 21.7 percent). The rate of past year alcohol use was similar for these two groups.


  • Youths who have ever been in foster care had higher rates of need for substance abuse treatment than youths who have never been in foster care. More youths who have ever been in foster care were in need of treatment for alcohol or illicit drug use in the past year (17.4 percent) compared with youths who have never been in foster care.


  • Two out of three children placed in foster care are reunited with their birth parents within 2 years. But a significant number spend long periods of time in foster care while waiting for adoption or other permanent arrangements


  • The Orphan Foundation of America estimates that more than 25,000 foster youth age out of State care or run away every year. (Estimates from several other government and private sources range from 20,000 to 30,000.)


  • In the only nationally representative study of youth discharged from foster care that has been published (1991, based on 1988 data), 39 percent were emotionally disturbed, 50 percent had used illegal drugs, and 25 percent were involved with the legal system.
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Posted by on August 20, 2012 in Uncategorized


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Child Protection Mediation, Part III

How is a Case Referred?

  •  Cases may be referred at any time in the case after it is filed
  • A case may be referred in court, at a case management conference, or at a case status conference


The Process Includes:

  •  Completing the intake process with a Court Services Officer
  • Obtaining the Judge’s approval


The Intake/Referral Process Includes:

  •  Completing the intake/referral form
  • Selecting a mediation team
  • Signing an agreement to participate in mediation and a confidentiality agreement
  • Scheduling a date to return to court


What Happens After the Mediation Session?

 If the parties reach an agreement, the parties put the agreement in writing. The agreement is then reviewed in court by the judge and, if approved, made part of the decision of the case. If the parties do not reach an agreement, they go back to court for the court to handle.

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Posted by on August 17, 2012 in Uncategorized


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