Monday, October 20, 2008

This Week's News: Youth in Transition


Program helps stop kids from dropping out
Moorseville Tribune – October 20, 2008
Santario White decided to drop out of South Iredell High because he didn't want to repeat his junior year. White, 18, had missed 161 days and was already considered a dropout before he made up his mind. Then he heard about an alternative program that would allow him to continue high school in a different setting.

Mentors ease transition for freshmen
Arizona Daily Star – October 20, 2008
Lourdes Osuna, 15, wishes she had had someone to help her out with the transition from middle school to high school. And that she had had someone to introduce her to new friends. Fortunately, the 10th-grade student at Sunnyside High School not only survived the challenge successfully, she is now a mentor for ninth-graders, or freshmen, at Sunnyside. The purpose of the program is to address poor high-school graduation rates at a time when many students find varying reasons to drop out school.

DepEd sets early school registration – October 19, 2008
The Department of Education is asking parents of graduating elementary school students to register in the public or private high schools of their choice as early as January 2009. The early registration, scheduled every Saturday in January, is aimed at tracking the placement of incoming high school students and preparing intervention programs for those who could not be accommodated in the schools of their choice or those who may have to drop out due to financial and other reasons.

Juvenile Justice

Human services director's goal: Eliminate minority imbalance
DesMoines Register – October 19, 2008
Iowa Department of Human Services Director Gene Gessow says the state can eliminate the imbalance of racial minorities in Iowa's child welfare and juvenile justice systems within the next 10 years. Gessow is in his third week as the head of human services, Iowa's largest state agency. Shortly after Gov. Chet Culver appointed him to the job, Gessow shared with his staff a written description of his vision for the department. Among the goals he listed: "There is no racial or ethnic group, including Native Americans, which is disproportionately represented in the Iowa child-welfare or juvenile-justice system."

Panel wants to fix La. juvenile justice
The Advocate – October 18, 2008
After a lengthy panel discussion on juveniles and criminal justice issues in Louisiana on Friday morning, a retired state judge offered a concise proposal for stopping “skyrocketing” crime in Louisiana. “Send the drunks and the drug addicts to the (social workers) and health-care systems for treatment and let the criminal justice system focus on the criminals — the real bad dudes,” said Judge Calvin Johnson, who retired Jan. 2 as the first black chief judge of New Orleans Criminal District Court.

‘Missouri Model’ for juveniles praised nationally
The St. Louis American – October 15, 2008
Anyone who has set foot inside a juvenile detention facility in America has seen it first-hand n a sea of black and brown faces dressed in orange or blue jumpsuits with only a scattering of white faces in between. Although Congress sought to address the disparity 20 years ago, as part of the Juvenile Justice and Delinquency Prevention Act, young people of color still suffer disproportionate arrest rates and harsher prison sentences than whites, according to a new report out of the nation’s capital.

Foster Care

County, Davis help probationary youth get housing, food
Daily Democrat – October 17, 2008
The Yolo County Department of Employment and Social Services, in partnership with the City of Davis and Davis Community Meals, is helping six former foster and probationary youth transition to adulthood via the Transitional Housing Program Plus (THP+). This two-year program, which began in August 2008, provides housing, utilities, a stipend for food and a savings account to help participants become self-sufficient and productive young adults in our community.

Help for the young and formerly homeless
The Philadelphia Inquirer – October 20, 2008
For many homeless teenagers and those in foster care, the approach of their 18th birthday is cause for fear and confusion, not celebration. Now legally adults, they have "aged out" of the system and temporary youth shelters. Camden DREAMS - a program of the nonprofit Center for Family Services Inc., with offices throughout New Jersey - provides long-term, affordable housing to a fortunate handful of young adults who have crossed that threshold.

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