Monday, February 23, 2009

This Week's News: Youth in Transition


Schools adjust to help kids who can't drop out
Argus Leader, Sioux Falls, SD – February 23, 2009
A change in state law will shut the door on would-be high school dropouts this summer, and Sioux Falls public school officials are exploring ways to better serve hundreds of students who don't fit the conventional classroom model.

Freshman academies appear to be helping new high school students
Naples Daily News, Naples, FL – February 22, 2009
It’s easy to spot Naples High School freshmen. Look for the blue T-shirts with “Success: Live It!” written in gold on the back. It would appear freshmen across Collier County are taking that motto to heart. When the Collier County School District began the freshman academy program last fall, the goal was to see fewer freshmen fail their first year of high school.

Fighting the high school drop out problem
WNCT News, North Carolina – February 21, 2009
Convincing students to get their high school diploma seems to be getting more difficult and schools systems continue to fight the dropout problem. The threat of not being able to get a job isn’t enough, so one school system in the east is put together a campaign to try to keep teenagers in the classroom.

Juvenile Justice

Group wants to raise age limit for juvenile offenders
WRAL, Raleigh, NC – February 19, 2009
In North Carolina, you have to be 21 to drink alcohol and 18 to vote and to have full driving privileges. But the state is one of the few in which a 16- or 17-year-old is considered an adult in the eyes of the law. Some child advocacy groups are lobbying state lawmakers to consider increasing the age in which a person can be criminally charged as an adult to 18 years old.

L.A. County pushes for more money for juvenile justice
Los Angeles Times, Los Angeles, CA – February 19, 2009
Los Angeles County officials joined U.S. Rep. Robert "Bobby" Scott (D-Va.) at Barry J. Nidorf Juvenile Hall in Sylmar this morning to promote federal legislation that would earmark billions of dollars to prevent youth violence and crime, which are expected to increase as the economy worsens.

Foster Care

Defying the odds: Foster child turned college grad breaks family cycle and gives back to youth
Lufkin Daily News, Lufkin, TX – February 22, 2009
Most children who age out of the foster care system at 18 eventually end up in prison, pregnant and/or without a college degree, statistics show. However, one Tyler woman has defied those odds, becoming one of the less than 2 percent of foster care children who go on to earn a college degree. At 22, Jennifer England now works as a Region 4 Youth Specialist for Child Protective Services to help others in the system succeed too.

Santa Clara County foster youth will have a changed experience in court when new lawyers take over
Mercury News, Silicon Valley, CA – February 18, 2009
The court experience for children in Santa Clara County's foster care system will shift dramatically in the coming months, when a team of young lawyers from a scrappy nonprofit agency takes over the cases of abused and neglected kids from the district attorney's office. In a departure from long-standing local practice, lawyers with Legal Advocates for Children and Youth will meet their clients wherever the vulnerable children end up — in foster care or group homes, with relatives or on the streets. Children who have been removed from home will soon have one lawyer representing them over the life of their case, a person they can grow to trust and confide in over time.

United Way Grant to Help Foster Children Further Their Education
Inside Indiana Business, Indianapolis, IN – February 19, 2009
United Way of Central Indiana (UWCI) has been awarded a $423,600 grant from Lumina Foundation for Education to help more youth leaving the foster care system complete high school, then enroll and complete postsecondary education. The effort is part of the community’s Connected by 25 partnership --managed by UWCI -- which helps young people ages 14-25 get the support they need to succeed after being emancipated from the child welfare system.

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