Tuesday, September 30, 2008

This Week's News: Youth in Transition


‘Reach Out to Dropouts' finds many eager for second chance
My San Antonio News – September 28, 2008
It wasn't the knock on the door that got the attention of Michelle Lopez. It was the phone call at home. The principal would like to see you in his office. Uh-oh. That was one thought that flashed through her mind. “What have I done wrong?” was another. There was no need to panic. The principal didn't want to punish Lopez. He wanted to make a pitch.

District rallies to reduce dropouts
Sun Herald – September 29, 2008
School districts throughout Jackson County are holding a pep rally of sorts Tuesday, but it isn't for any sporting event. Rather, schools, businesses, government officials and parents are joining together to learn how they can work together to reduce the dropout rate throughout the county. More than 1,000 people are expected for the Jackson County Destination Graduation Dropout Summit, an event that will bring stakeholders together from different parts of the community to address this problem.

Learning to stick with it
The News Gazette – September 28, 2008
At this time last year, Paxton-Buckley-Loda High School freshman Brad Isernhagen found himself frequently getting into trouble with his parents, schools and the law. A year later, the 16-year-old from Paxton is a cadet at Lincoln's Challenge Academy, patrolling the dormitory halls as a squad leader and studying algebra so he might one day join the Air National Guard.

Juvenile Justice

County juvenile justice strategy gets notice
Indy Star – September 23, 2008
Indianapolis is playing host this week to a national conference on juvenile detention reform that will highlight the early success of changes at Marion County's lockup. The event, which started Monday night, focuses on an approach to juvenile justice that reduces reliance on incarceration. Since the Marion County Juvenile Detention Center adopted the program in 2006, admissions have declined by more than half.

Service helps kids in trouble
Pierce County Herald – September 23, 2008
A boy can now identify a dozen varieties of apples by sight. A girl learned to listen to nursing home residents. Youngsters learned responsibility by washing county trucks. Juveniles may go into Pierce County’s community service program grumbling, but they gain new skills, make connections, work with adult role models and learn the joy of being useful and appreciated, said social workers.

Foster Care

A way to help foster youth to age 21
Jackson County Floridan – September 26, 2008
Thanks to the efforts of Sen. Barbara Boxer, D-Calif., a crucial piece of foster care legislation passed both houses and is expected to become law. The Fostering Connections to Success and Increasing Adoptions Act would offer federal support to states that extend foster care services to young people between the ages of 18 and 21. The measure also requires states to work with these youth on a transition plan for employment and housing.

Former foster children helping Fla. learn lessons
The Jackson Times – September 26, 2008
It wouldn’t have been surprising if India Marrero turned her back on the Department of Children & Families once she turned 18 and could finally walk away from the foster care system. But instead of putting DCF in her past when she aged out, she is now working for the agency as part of a program to hire young adults who have recently left the foster care system. The goal of the program — the only one like it in the country — is to help former foster children who need a job and to have DCF employees learn from their experiences.

New ‘Aging Out’ initiative helps foster kids transition into adults
The St. Louis American – September 25, 2008
Joy, 17, will be aging out of foster care soon. But thanks to a new program, her transition into adulthood should be easier than most. Joy (who had to keep her full name confidential because of Department of Social Services guidelines) is one of 200 teens in the St. Louis Aging Out Initiative, a program geared toward youth between the ages of 16 and 18 who are in State custody and approaching release from State-supported care.

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