Monday, December 01, 2008

This Week's News: Youth in Transition


Community to tackle dropouts
The Herald – November 29, 2008
Rock Hill city and school officials hope a planned community-wide gathering will entice others to partner in stemming the flow of students who quit school. "Dropout Prevention Summit," scheduled for Thursday, boasts a list of 275 invitees. It includes parents, educators and leaders from area nonprofits, businesses, churches and community groups.

Districts seek to stop drop outs
Muskogee Phoenix – November 29, 2008
Muskogee High School’s teacher advocate program is one tool area schools use to improve student performance and reduce the drop out rate. Muskogee Public Schools offer several ways to stem the failure and drop-out rate. Superintendent Mike Garde said the district follows a Pyramid of Intervention, steps to change behavior of students who are at risk academically, behaviorally or socially. MPS Public Information Director Melony Carey said the pyramid involves student school staff and parents to make sure the at risk student is supported.

Program aims to cut drop-out rate
Opelika-Auburn News – November 25, 2008
A $400,000 gift from AT&T to Auburn University aims to keep high school students from becoming dropouts. The funds will support an initiative to reduce the drop-out rate in Alabama high schools which, according to the Southern Education Foundation, is about 40 percent.

Juvenile Justice

Law set to prosecute youth cut
Las Vegas Review Journal – November 27, 2008
The Nevada Supreme Court on Wednesday threw out a state law used to prosecute juveniles charged with serious crimes in adult court, saying the statute violated their constitutional right against self-incrimination. Under the presumptive certification law, juveniles 14 or older charged with gun crimes and violent sex crimes were automatically sent to adult court unless they could show that substance abuse, or emotional or behavioral problems led to the crimes. But in making that connection the juveniles admitted to the crimes, which could be used against them in future court hearings.

Juvenile justice topic of first regional conference of judges and prosecutors in South East Europe
UNICEF – November 28, 2008
UNICEF, Representative, Mr. Sheldon Yett and Deputy Minister of Justice, Mr. Ibrahim Ibrahimi opened today a conference to discuss issues related to juvenile justice and making judicial reform work for children. Judges and other professionals from Albania, Croatia, Kosovo, Serbia and Montenegro have come to Skopje for the conference “The aim of juvenile justice systems should be the rehabilitation and reintegration into society of those children in conflict with the law, not their punishment,” said UNICEF Country Representative Mr. Sheldon Yett. “The police, the courts and other pillars of justice must be sensitive to the needs of children.”

Foster Care

Sterling foundation supports former foster youth
Loudoun Times-Mirror – November 24, 2008
The foster-care system is not always a fair shake, according to Doug Sprei of the Sterling-based Orphan Foundation of America. And when those children age out of the system, usually at 18, it gets worse. Enter the Orphan Foundation of America, known as OFA, founded in 1981 by Father Joseph Rivers. Its 30 employees and small army of volunteers across the country connect high school graduates with scholarships to colleges and vocational schools; oversee the federal government's Education and Training Voucher money in nine states; offer virtual mentoring to keep those students on track for graduation and success; and connect students with internships in business, government and nonprofit agencies.

Changes in state law try to get foster kids out of limbo
Free Press – November 30, 2008
A settlement agreement between Michigan's child welfare system and a New York-based child advocacy group, as well as recent changes in state and federal law, should mean that Michigan's foster children will find homes more quickly.

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