Sunday, October 07, 2007

This Week's News: Youth in Transition


U.S. Department of Labor youth-related grants advance education and employment connections for troubled youth
Employment and Training Administration News Release - October 6, 2007
The Employment and Training Administration (ETA) is providing $2,950,000 in funding to six cities to ”blueprint” and implement a system that can reconnect youth that have dropped out of high school to a variety of high quality, innovative multiple education pathways. These pathways will offer alternative learning environments that engage these youth in rigorous and relevant academic studies and workforce preparation, while preparing and connecting them to post-secondary education opportunities. Former dropout youth will then be better prepared to enter the labor market and career pathways in high growth, high demand industries.

Study: School tests aim too low
The Enquirer – October 3, 2007
Ohio and other states are aiming too low on some state school tests, painting an unreliable picture of academic achievement and setting up elementary students to fail, a new study by the Fordham Institute says. The study, called “The Proficiency Illusion,” was released this morning. It says that No Child Left Behind’s mandated tests on math and reading create a false impression of success, especially in reading and especially in the early grades, in the 26 states studied in the report. Fordham’s study says states, including Ohio, are setting the cut scores too low and too inconsistently to accurately gauge how students are progressing.

Former dropout unveils program to get today’s dropouts back in school
St. Louis Post-Dispatch – October 2, 2007
Now, through an ambitious program that will seek out dropouts in their homes, the alarm is about to sound for 2,000 St. Louis young people when they should be in school. Members of the “In It 2 Win Coalition” have vowed to do everything in their vowed to do everything in their power to persuade dropouts to return to school. The program was announced Monday. “If they have a phone, we’re going to keep calling and calling,” promised Jamilah Nasheed, a dropout who earned her high school equivalency certificate and now serves St. Louis’ 60th legislative district in the Missouri House of Representatives.

Juvenile Justice

4-H Principles Underpin Program Helping Juvenile Offenders
AgNews – October 4, 2007
Kerrville – A new program based on 4-H principles is helping juvenile offenders develop character and life skills while giving them a chance at a better life, said program coordinators. The LIFE Skills program, which began in June, is a combined effort of the Kerr County Juvenile Board, the county’s juvenile probation department and the local Texas Cooperative Extension office. Juvenile offenders are ordered by the court to attend a series of two-hour LIFE Skills sessions as a condition of their probation. The length of time they must remain in the program is the same as their length of probation.

Releasing the names
Jersey City Reporter – September 28, 2007
Jersey City Mayor Jerramiah Healy wants the public to know which violent juvenile offenders live in their neighborhoods. At a recent press conference in City Hall, Healy announced that he plans to push legislation on a state level that would allow the release of the names of violent juvenile offenders under the age of 18. Those against the legislation say that there is a reason for concealing of the identity of most juveniles and that the point of juvenile justice is the juvenile can be rehabilitated.

Foster Care

Crucial health care eludes foster kids
The Star-Ledger – October 4, 2007
Only 30 percent of foster children last year received a required evaluation of their medical and mental health needs, according to a report released by the Office of the Child Advocate yesterday. Based on a file review of 80 foster children, just under 30 percent were given the exams – waiting about four months for their turn, according to the report. Caseworkers from the Division of Youth and Family Services are responsible for seeing the exams occur, but the study said they missed 460 appointments, for a 19 percent “no-show” last year. Following the exams, only 11 percent of the foster children got all follow-up care they needed to address the medical, dental or psychological problems the exams revealed. More than three-quarters of the children had at least one chronic or acute medical condition an one-third had a behavioral or mental issue.

Foster care funds don’t cover parents’ bills, report says
USA Today – October 3, 2007
Most states pay foster parents far less than what middle-income families spend to raise their children, says a report out today by University of Maryland researchers. “Foster parents should receive the funds they need,” says co-author Julie Farber, director of policy at Children’s Rights, a New York-based advocacy group. Too often, she says, they either stop taking in foster kids or dig into their own pockets to pay for prom dresses and Boy Scouts uniforms. The report comes as more states report a shortage of families to care for the 500,000 children nationwide in foster care.

Benefit fashion services CSUS Guardian Scholars Program
The State Hornet – October 4, 2007
Most college students can’t image a childhood spent in foster care, but for a select few Sacramento State students, it’s a reality. In order to raise more awareness and funds for the program, the sixth annual Foster Youth Education Fund hosted, “Dancin’ in the Streets” Fashion Show and Tea Sept. 30 in the University Union Grand Ballroom. Sac State’s Guardian Scholars program, which celebrated its first year on campus in June, currently provides academic support services to 19 emancipated foster youth this semester as they transition out of the foster care system and into a university.

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