Monday, March 02, 2009

This Week's News: Youth in Transition


Schools are trying proactive programs to decrease dropouts
Tulsa World, Tulsa, OK – March 2, 2009
Dropout prevention starts early at Broken Arrow Public Schools, where teachers and sta, identify atrisk children in elementary school. “Even going to all-day kindergarten, it’s a proactive approach to dropout prevention,” said Brian Beagles, the district’s assistant superintendent of instructional services. Teachers have had training to identify specific students who need additional help and develop individualized study plans for them.

Help for Part-time Students Among Recommendations Urged To Improve Latino Educational Attainment
Diverse Issues in Higher Education, Washington, DC – March 2, 2009
Warning of an education crisis for the nation’s burgeoning Latino population, academic researchers and advocates came to Capitol Hill Friday, calling for quick action to avert that crisis.

Juvenile Justice

Senate approves rewrite of juvenile offender law
KDBC News, NC – February 28, 2009
The Senate agreed today to an overhaul of state laws governing juvenile offenders and children who are victims of abuse or neglect. Supporters of the legislation say it's necessary for the Children, Youth and Families Department to move forward with a revision of the juvenile justice system. The legislation would put a greater emphasis on rehabilitation and therapy rather than punishment and lockup facilities.

Volunteer Chaplaincy Program Helps At-Risk Kids
WJHG News, Panama City, FL – February 26, 2009
The Florida Department of Juvenile Justice (DJJ) Faith and Community Network announced on February 24, 2009, a groundbreaking initiative, the Volunteer Chaplaincy Program. Offered through the DJJ Office of Prevention, the program is designed to connect local faith representatives with at-risk youth and their families to help bridge the transition out of the juvenile justice system and into a better future. The program is voluntary for children and parents, and inclusive of all faiths.

Restorative Justice offers mentor training
Village Soup, Waldo County, ME – March 1, 2009
The Restorative Justice Project of the Midcoast (RJP) is offering a free training for volunteer mentors. RJP’s goal is to bring about a cultural shift in the way that the community, law enforcement and the justice system work together to address crime and punishment. Restorative justice creates a forum for victims to have a voice, gives an opportunity for the offender to take accountability and acknowledges the impact of their crime on the community.

Foster Care

Guides prepare budding adults Next Step program helps foster teens learn independence
Bradenton Herald, Bradenton, FL – March 1, 2009
Considered adults, they are turned out of foster homes to fend for themselves. But after being cared for by the state for most of their lives, few are prepared to make it on their own, says Magistrate Susan Maulucci of the Twelfth Judicial Circuit. Next Step volunteers work in teams, collaborative trios of mental health, legal, financial professionals, education professionals and/or business people assigned to a youth in final year before the foster teen becomes an adult and continuing for one year into adulthood.

Former foster kids trying to beat the odds
HeraldNet, Everett, WA – February 24, 2009
Jacklyn Velasquez doesn't need state or national reports to know that few students who grew up in foster care enroll in college. Today, Velasquez, 20, defies state and national odds as a foster care alum who attends college. She's taking classes at Everett Community College, which wants to attract more students with similar backgrounds.

Colorado Education and Training Voucher Program Benefits Foster Kids
Examiner, Denver, CO – February 26, 2009
One issue foster kids often have when they "age out" of foster care is a lack of financial support. They typically must go straight to work to support themselves, and it's a tough battle to find a way to pay for higher education on their own. Some kids turn to illegal means to support themselves, unfortunately. The Colorado Education and Training Voucher Program offers funds to current and former foster kids to help them to attend colleges, universities and vocational training institutions.

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