Saturday, July 15, 2006

This Week's News: 15 July, 2006

Foster care

Foster Adoption Law Brings Success, Challenges (first of three parts)
The Beacon Journal, OH – July 8, 2006
When Congress approved the Adoption and Safe Families Act in 1997, it sought to rescue orphans who were lingering in the nation’s foster care system. Foster adoptions increased 64 percent nationwide, from 31,030 the year the law passed to 51,000 last year. They’re up 43.5 percent in Ohio, where 15,746 children have new parents. But for all the successes, there are challenges…

ROCHELLE RILEY: John Parks - In Between Foster Care and Hopes of Studying Nursing
Detroit Free Press, MI – July 10, 2006
John Parks is 20 years old. He's finishing up an internship. He's waiting to hear whether he has been accepted into Eastern Michigan University. And he is homeless. The State of Michigan, which had been his parent since he was 17, terminated his case two weeks ago on June 20, his 20th birthday

Foster Care Program Reauthorization Approved
This Week in Washington – July 11, 2006
On June 29, the House Ways and Means Committee approved the Child and Family Services Improvement Act of 2006, (
HR 5640) intended to bolster federal oversight of child foster care and renew child welfare programs. The bill would reauthorize the federal "Promoting Safe and Stable Families" program through 2011, the first reauthorization since 2001. The program distributes money to states to assist with child welfare investigations.

Fourth of the Series: Throwaway Kids
Pasadena Weekly, CA – July 13, 2006
Work on the street is that Brian Chytka, the 22-year-old homeless former foster youth whose story started off this series, has left Hollywood for San Francisco. There he is suffering from a staph infection and other potentially life-threatening health problems brought on by increased heroin use since speaking with the Weekly some two months ago.


8 ‘Pillars’ Hold Up Key Schools
The Indianapolis Star, IN - July 9, 2006
The walls lack a student-of-the-month plaque, an honor roll list and a trophy display case. Outside the classroom, you won't find any school group competing in sports or academic contests. Yet, students flock here every day, year-round. Dozens more are on a waiting list. Welcome to Key Learning Community, the first Indianapolis elementary school to rely on the multiple intelligence theory that learning can't always be measured by standardized tests.

Superintendent Hopes to Lower Dropout Rate
Terre Haute Tribune Star, IN - July 11, 2006
With the new school year, Superintendent Dan Tanoos plans to get personally involved in persuading students to stay in high school rather than drop out. “My intention is for myself personally to meet with every kid who’s going to drop out next year,” Tanoos told school board members Monday night. “I’m going to meet with every kid and every family.”

Keeping `Drop Outs' Dropping Back In
Kalamazoo Gazette, MI - July 13, 2006
Walking across the stage for high school graduation can be one of the most joyful times for students. Moms may cry, and dads may applaud as students finally grasp the diplomas many have always expected to receive. But this scenario might not always materialize for everyone.

Juvenile Justice

Life-Without-Parole Youth Terms Scrutinized
The Detroit News, MI – July 12, 2006
LANSING -- A United Nations panel is expected to start reviewing whether life-without-parole sentences for juveniles in Michigan and 41 other states violate an international treaty on human rights. Critics of Michigan's law will brief the U.N. Human Rights Committee later this week.

Keeping Watch Over Children in the System
The Washington Post, DC – July 13, 2006
Ginnie Volkman, a volunteer with the Court Appointed Special Advocate program, is very insistent that 6-year-old Darryl wear his new glasses. Darryl has a disorder called strabismus. But his mother, a former substance abuser on public assistance, neglected to get her son glasses -- landing her in Alexandria’s juvenile court system for medical neglect. Volkman has interviewed Darryl’s eye doctor and researched the condition extensively. Volkman does all of this in her spare time -- without being paid. CASA was started in Seattle in the 1970s by a juvenile court judge who felt he wasn’t getting enough information about the children he evaluated.

Leaders, Parents Discuss Juvenile Justice Issues
Mohave Valley News, NV – July 13, 2006
LAUGHLIN - If a juvenile is convicted of a crime, should he or she be punished in the same manner as an adult? Community leaders and local parents acknowledged that there are no easy answers to the dilemmas currently facing the juvenile justice system in a seminar Wednesday at the Laughlin Bay Marina.

State, Nonprofit Reach Settlement Over Juvenile Justice Reforms
San Jose Mercury, CA – July 14, 2006
SACRAMENTO - California will have to revamp the way it incarcerates juvenile offenders by using smaller and more modern lockups to replace the warehouse-style prisons it currently uses, according to a court-mandated report from the state corrections department. The report marks a compromise between the state and a nonprofit legal center and is the latest indication of how attempts to solve systematic problems in the state's corrections department will end up costing California taxpayers. The state already faces hundreds of millions of dollars in additional costs to reform its adult prison system and the way it manages inmate health care.

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