Family briefs

Foster-care population drops for sixth consecutive year

NEW YORK – The number of U.S. children in foster care has dropped for the sixth consecutive year, falling to about 400,000 compared with more than 520,000 a decade ago.

The drop results primarily from a shift in the policies and practices of state and county child welfare agencies. Many have shortened stays in foster care, expedited adoptions and expanded preventive support for families so more children avoid being removed from home.

The new figures show there were 400,540 children in foster care as of Sept. 30. That’s down by about 6,000 from a year earlier.

Gov. Bryant: ‘Unfortunate’ church blocked black wedding

PHILADELPHIA, Miss. – Mississippi Gov. Phil Bryant said Thursday it is “unfortunate” that a predominantly white church in the state wouldn’t allow a black couple to get married in its sanctuary.

Bryant said Mississippi should encourage the union of any couple – as long as the couple is made up of a man and a woman.

Charles and Te’Andrea Wilson say they weren’t allowed to marry in July at First Baptist Church of Crystal Springs.

The Rev. Stan Weatherford, pastor of the church, married them at a predominantly black church nearby.

Associated Press