Monday, December 26, 2011

This Week's News: Youth in Transition

Education

High school dropouts Gateway to College at Owens
WNWO, Toledo, OH – December 19, 2011
Owens Community College has received a $325,000 grant to help high school drop outs earn their diplomas while earning college credit at the same time.

USC to open charter school for at-risk youth
Los Angeles Wave, California – December 21, 2011
Come September 2012, at-risk youth will be able to attend a new charter high school that will aim to eliminate some of the stressors that lead some students to drop out.

Juvenile Justice

Juvenile justice group pushes for sea-change in kid prisons
IllinoisTimes, Illinois – Deember 22, 2011
Illinois’ system of warehousing juvenile delinquents doesn’t work, according to a state-appointed reform group calling for sweeping changes in how youth offenders are handled.

Foster Care

York County reduces need for foster care
The York Dispatch, York County, PA – December 26, 2011
In just two years, York County has reduced the number of children in foster care by nearly 50 percent.  Deb Chronister, director of the county's Office of Children, Youth and Families, applauds the county's efforts over the past year to dramatically cut down on the number of children entering the foster care system.

StopGap aids transition from foster care to adulthood
LJWorld.com, Lawrence, KS – December 25, 2011
Lawrence resident Emily Jacobs, now 22, spent her four high school years in the foster care system, leaving when she “aged out” upon graduation. Former social worker Justine Burton founded the nonprofit organization StopGap Inc. in 2008. After a few years of building support, the group will host its first series of courses for teens in foster care who are getting ready for life on their own.  The five-week course, for those 16 to 18, will focus on topics like job skills, financial planning, education and a variety of other life skills.

New Law Extends Foster Care Emancipation Age in Calif.
Capital Public Radio, California – December 22, 2011
We continue our series on new California laws that take effect January 1st with a look at a measure that could help older teens in the foster care system turn their lives around. The law will extend benefits for foster kids from age 18 to 21.

Teen Pregnancy

Florida teen pregnancy task force says abstinence-only sex education is not enough
The Florida Independent, Florida – December 19, 2011
Last month, the Northeast Florida Teen Pregnancy Task Force released a report outlining recommendations for dealing with the region’s persistent teen pregnancy problem. The report (.pdf) was part of “a year-long process to identify strategies and community partners to address the high rate of teenage pregnancy, birth and repeat teen pregnancies in the region,” the group states.

Teen birth rate down in Polk this year
News Chief, Winter Haven, FL – December 26, 2011
Polk County had its lowest rate in 10 years of births to girls younger than 18: 8.4 per 1,000 births in 2010. An increasing amount of outreach to teenagers is beginning to show results, said Marquinia Butts- Fisher, who manages the Teen Pregnancy Prevention Program for Healthy Start Coalition of Hardee, Highlands & Polk Counties.

Monday, December 19, 2011

This Week's News: Youth in Transition

Education

Utah academy’s business is helping high school dropouts drop back in
The Salt Lake Tribune, Salt Lake City, UT – December 17, 2011
The United States has roughly 35 million high school dropouts, a staggering number that continues to increase each day for any number of reasons.  But on the 11th floor of Salt Lake City’s Walker Center, employees in an innovative business venture reach out to mentor and educate this fractured population through online learning and the use of technology to keep in touch.

Cutting the high school dropout rate would be huge boost for economy
Wilmington Family Examiner – December 15, 2011
A new economic analysis released December 14, 2011 by the Alliance for Excellent Education shows cutting the dropout rate in half and producing graduates that meet national goals for achieving a postsecondary degree creates new jobs, increases earnings for individuals, and boosts states' tax revenues. 

Alternative high school diploma offered
The Pueblo Chieftain, Canon City, CO – December 13, 2011
The Fremont campus of Pueblo Community College is enrolling students in a program that can provide high-school dropouts with a second chance.  The Alternative High School Diploma Program is open to students from Fremont County between the ages of 17 and 20 who have left high school. Classes are held on the campus, 51320 U.S. 50 West, and give students the opportunity to complete their high school studies in a college environment.

Juvenile Justice

Report says better case management key to juvenile justice reform
Daily Herald, Illinois – December 13, 2011
Leaders in the Illinois Juvenile Justice community say a stronger case management system would better serve young offenders who remain incarcerated or who have been paroled. The comments came in response to a report, released Tuesday and provided to Gov. Pat Quinn and state lawmakers, that dubbed the state’s youth prison system ineffective and inefficient.

Henderson County, state launch pilot program to decrease juvenile detentions
The Courier-Journal, Henderson, KY – December 12, 2011
The emails, sent to the head of the state Department of Juvenile Justice in June 2010, expressed alarm, dismay and, eventually, a request for help.  “We're looking to reduce commitments, detentions and petitions here in Henderson County. Do you have any resources to help us?” read one of the emails, from Henderson District Court Judge Robert Wiederstein to the department.

Foster Care

Treehouse helps foster kids branch out
The Seattle Times, Seattle, WA – December 17, 2011
Treehouse, a nonprofit agency that benefits from The Seattle Times Fund For The Needy, serves some 5,000 foster children each year, working to give them as normal a life as possible by providing such things as tutoring, toys, school supplies, summer camp and ballet lessons.

Foster care system helps thousands of kids
The Tennessean, Tennessee – December 13, 2011
Every year, as youth age out of the system, they are faced with the challenge of becoming self-sufficient virtually on their own. Those who age out without family face homelessness, incarceration, school dropout, unemployment, unwanted pregnancy and lack of health care.  These outcomes are preventable!

Improving Outcomes for Youth in Long-Term Foster Care
St. Louis Public Policy Examiner – December 12, 2011
A new report by the Carsey Institute, Long-Term Foster Care—Different Needs, Different Outcomes, presents research on the characteristics and needs of children who remain in foster care for long periods.

Teen Pregnancy

Coalition forms to lower teen pregnancy rate
Times-Republican, Marshall County, IA – December 17, 2011
For years, Marshall County had the highest teen pregnancy rate in the state. It no longer holds the dubious distinction, but it still is too high as far as area agency and school leaders are concerned. A group of school, agency and church leaders met Friday to discuss plans to get to the number lower in Marshall and Hardin Counties as part of the Teen Pregnancy Prevention Coalition.

U.S. teen pregnancies reaching record-low levels
Public Radio International – December 15, 2011
As comprehensive sex education ramps up and the economy continues to sputter, more women are choosing not to get pregnant in their teens, sending the U.S. teen birth rate to low levels not seen in 70 years.

Monday, December 12, 2011

This Week's News: Youth in Transition

Education

High School Dropout Rates
Chicago Tonight, Chicago, IL – December 8, 2011
Chicago is home to the third largest public school district in the country, and it's a system that's plagued by a high dropout rate. A new study has taken a closer look at the individual and societal costs of dropping out. Andrew Sum, professor of Economics and director of the Center for Labor Market Studies at Northeastern University in Boston, conducted the study. He shared the key findings with Chicago Tonight.

Dropouts revive dreams at alternative high school
The Detroit News, Detroit, MI – December 7, 2011
He dropped out and became a statistic. Eleven percent of all Michigan students dropped out in 2009-10, according to Michigan School Data. Then he saw an advertisement for Fusion Academy of Michigan West.

Illinois study cites cost of high school dropouts
Reuters, Chicago, Illinois – December 7, 2011
High school dropouts on average receive $1,500 a year more from government than they pay in taxes because they are more likely to get benefits or to be in prison, according to a U.S. study released on Wednesday.

Juvenile Justice

Law alters juveniles’ sentencing
Toledo Blade, Lucas County, OH – December 12, 2011
When Marquis Grant returns to Lucas County Common Pleas Court on Jan. 5 to be sentenced for a felonious assault conviction, he won’t know exactly what his future holds. Grant’s is one of two cases that will fall under provisions governing criminal sentencing put into effect by the Ohio legislature this year. House Bill 86 adds another step in the process involving juveniles being treated in the criminal system as adults.

Stephen Wise bill links education department with juvenile justice
The Florida Times-Union, Florida – December 8, 2011
An overhaul of Florida’s juvenile justice system aims to better measure how educators handle students who enter that system and tries to ensure that those students have a marketable skill when they return home.

Keeping troubled kids out of jail
The State, Richland County, SC – December 10, 2011
Richland County sheriff’s investigator Cassie Radford once chased down a 16-year-old marijuana user when he hit a door and stormed out of a counseling session.  “I didn’t like the way he hit the door,” Radford said. “I wanted to know what was going on in his head. I wasn’t going to let him go out like that. By God, I was going to save him.”

Foster Care

PA Partnerships for Children: Pennsylvania's Strategy on Foster Care is Working, New Statewide Report Finds
The Sacramento Bee, Harrisburg, PA – December 6, 2011
Pennsylvania's family-focused approach to foster care is helping to reduce the number of children placed in foster care and drive down the overall foster care population, according to the annual State of Child Welfare report issued today by Pennsylvania Partnerships for Children.

Ohio AG calls for foster care review
WTAM 1100 Radio, Cincinnati, OH – December 9, 2011
Ohio Attorney General Mike DeWine today called for a complete review of the foster care system in Ohio. DeWine's call for action was made at a Child Safety Summit he hosted in Cincinnati.

Teen Pregnancy

Advocates: Enhanced sex ed may cut teen pregnancy
The Examiner, Mississippi – December 8, 2011
Health advocates are urging Mississippi school districts to adopt enhanced sex education classes, saying they would cut teen pregnancy rates and the spread of sexually-transmitted diseases.

ARISE Launches New Program to Raise Teen Pregnancy Awareness
Juvenile Justice Information Exchange – December 6, 2011
This month, the nationwide non-profit organization ARISE launched a new website to promote its Sprouts Series, a program designed to encourage prevention and raise awareness of teenage pregnancy.

BCM Teen Clinic takes innovative approach to teen pregnancy education
Baylor College of Medicine, Houston, TX – December 8, 2011
The Baylor Teen Health Clinic has increasingly turned to technology to communicate important messages about teen sexuality. Its latest tool is a series of videos for the Internet designed to increase awareness of sexually transmitted infections and HIV.

Monday, December 05, 2011

This Week's News: Youth in Transition

Education

Study: Intervention in middle school helps keep kids in school
Redlands Daily Facts, California – December 3, 2011
Preventing high school students from dropping out doesn't begin in high school - it begins in middle school at successful districts, which track and engage students from an early age, according to a recently released report.

Innovative programs try to get college dropouts back into school
The Sacramento Bee, Philadelphia, PA – December 4, 2011
Like many young Americans, Julia Capece went straight from high school to college. Halfway toward her bachelor's degree, Capece decided to move out of her parents' home. She tried juggling work and school, but living on her own and keeping up with tuition and coursework proved too much.

Glenn Hills High finds success with mentoring program for at-risk students
The Augusta Chronicle, Glenn Hills, GA – December 2, 2011
Dr. Gale Levon Bell knew the name on a list of chronically absent students belonged to a junior at Glenn Hills High School who had been absent more days than she ever sat in a classroom, but the clues ended there.

Juvenile Justice

The De-Incarceration of California’s Juvenile Justice System
Juvenile Justice Information Exchange, California – November 30, 2011
The juvenile justice system in California has been evolving faster than most other parts of  the country.  While Missouri, Texas and other states have reduced their youth prison populations, California has made the most drastic reductions.

New era for Texas juvenile justice
The Houston Chronicle, Texas – November 30, 2011
Today is more than the beginning of a new month. It is the beginning of a new era for juvenile justice in Texas. The 82nd Texas Legislature passed a bill that abolished the Texas Youth Commission (TYC), the agency responsible for juvenile incarceration, and the Texas Juvenile Probation Commission, responsible for county-level probation departments.

Juvenile agency shifts its efforts
Delaware Online, Delaware – November 27, 2011
Delaware's juvenile-justice agency has begun putting more youths into community treatment programs instead of assigning them probation officers to improve their chances of staying out of trouble.

Foster Care

Law eases transition from foster care to adulthood
Battle Creek Enquirer, Michigan – November 29, 2011
Age 18 is a crucial milestone in life. Most people are finishing high school and looking ahead to college, the military or finding a job. While legally it is the threshold to adulthood, most 18-year-olds still depend heavily on their parents for support and guidance. Last week, Michigan extended a much-needed hand to teenagers who are "aging out" of the foster care system.

Nonprofit gives hope to students without families
The Marietta Daily Journal, Marietta, GA – December 4, 2011
A group of college students without families to go home to for Thanksgiving were treated to a special holiday weekend, thanks to a local nonprofit and hotel.  The Orange Duffle Bag Foundation, a Marietta-based nonprofit, partnered with Chateau √Član resort in Braselton, to provided four days of food, accommodations and other activities to 19 metro Atlanta foster youth who had no other place to go for Thanksgiving.


Santa Cruz County focusing on finding permanent homes for foster youth
Santa Cruz Sentinel, Santa Cruz, CA – December 3, 2011
Foster youth should not have to face life alone, without a family, say county social workers who see the pain and problems those children face after being removed from abusive or neglectful parents. The focus on finding permanent foster parents shifted with a $2 million grant received in 2008 that launched a program called Roots & Wings, said Melissa Delgadillo, who manages the program for the county's Human Services Agency.

Teen Pregnancy

Agencies encouraged by Ohio teen birth rate decline, but say work isn't over
Fox 19, Hamilton, OH – December 2, 2011
The state's birth rate among teens has dropped to a 21-year low. Experts say that reflects less sex and more contraceptives and health officials say declines suggest teens are responding to the fear of STD's and economic anxieties of becoming a parent.

Report: Teen births down
Times Daily, Alabama – November 28, 2011
Health officials say beefed-up education programs are producing positive results in the number of teen births, both nationally and in Alabama.  Data from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention National Center for Health Statistics shows the number of teens having babies declined 9 percent nationwide in 2010, compared to the previous year. The survey involves girls ages 15-19.

Monday, November 28, 2011

This Week's News: Youth in Transition

Education

Job Shadow Event part of $100 Million effort by AT&T and Junior Achievement to help reduce high school drop-out rate
Milwaukee Courier, Milwaukee, WI – November 25, 2011
Milwaukee high school students learned about the importance of staying in school from Representative JoCasta Zamarripa (D-Milwaukee) and local AT&T employees as part of a day-long Junior Achievement (JA) job shadowing event.

Detroit Tackles Dropout Crisis By Engaging Students, Parents
PBS Newshour, Detroit, MI – November 25, 2011
Over the next 18 months, the NewsHour and other public media partners are examining the consequences of, and solutions for, one of this country's most pressing education issues. The project is called American Graduate. Tonight, a look at Detroit, where four out of 10 children don't graduate.

Cash-strapped school districts struggle to improve access to higher education for students
MLive.com, Bloomingdale, MI – November 27, 2011
Ask a classroom of seventh-graders at Bloomingdale Middle School how many intend to go to college, and every hand in the room flies up.

Juvenile Justice

Right on Crime and the Conservative Focus on Juvenile Justice
Juvenile Justice Information Exchange, Texas – November 25, 2011
For years, many people have considered juvenile justice reform a dyed-blue plank in the liberal platform. However, deep in the heart of the red state of Texas, one conservative organization has adopted the issue as a major policy concern heading into the 2012 election season.

Taylor County youth to be tried as adults now won't necessarily be jailed with adults 
Reporter News, Texas – November 26, 2011
In 29 states a loophole in a federal law allows juveniles facing prosecution as adults to be kept in county jails instead of juvenile detention facilities, possibly placing them in cells with hardened criminals. But in Texas, a new law passed by the Legislature allows district judges to order juveniles certified to be tried as adults to be held at either a juvenile facility or a county jail.

Foster Care

Governor extends benefits to foster kids who "age out"
NPR Michigan Radio, Michigan – November 22, 2011
Governor Rick Snyder signed a law today to extend benefits for children who grew up in foster care after they turn 18 years old. The new law will allow foster kids to continue to receive a housing subsidy and health coverage until the age of 21, and to continue to work with foster care caseworkers.

Agency helps woman with rough childhood live on her own
Sun Sentinel, Coconut Creek, FL – November 24, 2011
There's toast left in the toaster, smiling faces of young people displayed in the picture frames in the living room.  None of it belongs to Danielle St. Hillaire. It's not her house anymore, this two-story in a row of 11 others tucked away in the SOS Children's Villages property in Coconut Creek.

Holidays can be difficult for ex-foster students
The Fresno Bee, Fresno, CA – November 23, 2011
Richard Alonso-Lazaro was accepted to Fresno State when he graduated high school. But as a young man aging out of foster care, he ended up homeless and unable to pursue college. He spent many holidays on the streets. But college programs and community organizations in Fresno have helped diminish that hardship.

Teen Pregnancy

Social media, reality TV could help reduce teen pregnancies
The Independent Florida Alligator – November 23, 2011
Thank Maci, Farrah and the other stars of MTV's "Teen Mom" - they may be the reason teen pregnancy rates are decreasing.  According to a report by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, teen birth rates in the U.S. dropped last year to the lowest they have been in about 70 years.

Voices for Illinois Children fights for the most vulnerable
Chicago Tribune, Illinois – November 24, 2011
With college, two jobs and her young son to care for, Jessica Olague does not give much thought to the goings-on in the Illinois Legislature or the impact child advocates in Springfield might have on her life. But the programs Olague credits with her success are the result of efforts by child advocates, including those with the Chicago-based nonprofit Voices for Illinois Children.

Monday, November 21, 2011

This Week's News: Youth in Transition

Education

Utah education leaders tackle problem of high school dropout rate
The Salt Lake Tribune, Utah – November 14, 2011
Linda Toli didn’t think she would finish high school.  She had missed too many days, fallen too far behind and thought the whole situation hopeless.  "I didn’t think I belonged there because I was way behind and couldn’t get help," said the 17 year old.  Toli has since gotten back on track after transferring to Horizonte Instruction and Training Center.

A College Degree Is STILL The Surest Path To A Middle Class Income
Business Insider – November 15, 2011
A post-secondary education is still the clearest path to a middle class income, new research shows.  Jobs for high school graduates will plummet dramatically in the next ten years, making up only 37 percent of the market six years from now, the study found.

Curbing The Drop-Out Rate
WJTV Channel 12, Jackson, MS – November 15, 2011
No one wants to be a high school drop-out.  Unfortunately, many of our teens are joining the long list of statistics.  Today, Mississippi Public Broadcasting hosted a summit for dozens of metro area students to stress the importance of staying in school.  According to the Alliance for Excellent Education, 37-percent of high school students in our state dropped out last year. 

Juvenile Justice

Youth Involved in Both Foster Care and Juvenile Justice Struggle At Unexpected Rate, LA Study Finds
Juvenile Justice Information Exchange, Los Angeles County, CA – November 17, 2011
Crossover youth, as young adults with dual involvement in foster care and juvenile justice systems are called, face a variety of challenges when entering adulthood, and they carry a high public cost. That is according to the first-ever study of youth in foster care and on probation in Los Angeles County.

Harlem Youth Court Takes On Juvenile Justice
The UpTowner, Harlem, NY – November 17, 2011
It’s a familiar courtroom scene: An advocate scribbling on a notepad prepares her closing statement. A judge presides, pounding her gavel to bring the hearing to order. The juror, named Milagros, is a high school student. Everyone participating– judge, jury, advocate, clerk and offender – is under 18.

Inglewood youth advocacy program receives federal grant
Daily Breeze, Los Angeles, CA – November 17, 2011

A local youth advocacy program has formed a partnership with a group of philanthropic women in an effort to reduce the large numbers - tens of thousands - of teenagers who go through the Los Angeles criminal justice system annually.

Foster Care

New Foster Care Program Starting Up in Charlottesville
NBC29, Charlottesville, NC – November 16, 2011

A new organization in Charlottesville is working to help kids who have "Aged Out" of the foster care program, but directors say they need the community's help to get things up and running.  State's transitional program helping 18-year olds stay in care until age 21
KTHV, Little Rock, AK – November 17, 2011
What happens when a child in state foster care turns 18 and "ages out" of the system without ever being adopted?  It happens to many children up for adoption, including 19-year old Sedella White.

Special Report: Adoption Agency Recruits Families for Kids
WABI TV, Maine – November 17, 2011
More than a thousand kids in Maine are in need of a home, and many remain in foster care until they're 18 years old.  Last year, an initiative that began in Missouri to target kids at risk of never getting adopted, made its way to Maine.

Teen Pregnancy

Teen pregnancies on the decline
NBC, Atlanta, GA – November 17, 2011
Fewer babies are having babies of their own.  The Centers for Disease Control reports the teen birth rate has hit a record low, the fourth consecutive year for a decrease.

Grant funds Tehama school program on teen pregnancy
The Record Searchlight, Red Bluff, CA – November 19, 2011
A special school curriculum aimed at preventing teen pregnancy will be launched in area high schools after the first of the year, thanks to a grant from the Sierra Health Foundation.

HERO CENTRAL: DC Teen Pregnancy Prevention
WUSA9, Washington, DC – November 14, 2011
Young girls of Washington, D.C. should be able to come to a place where they can discuss their issues, bond with peers and ensure a brighter future for themselves. DC Campaign to Prevent Teen Pregnancy is that place.

Monday, November 14, 2011

This Week's News: Youth in Transition

Education

St. Louis Teachers Voice Struggles Over Dropouts
PBS Newshour, St. Louis, MO – November 8, 2011
Teachers are struggling to find solutions to the high school dropout crisis plaguing the nation. As part of our American Graduate Project series, Gwen Ifill discusses the challenges educators are facing in the classroom with Civic Enterprises' John Bridgeland.

WTTW11 Kicks Off "American Graduate: Let’s Make It Happen"

WTTW, Chicago, IL – November 7, 2011

Nearly 40 percent of Chicago Public School students drop out. Why are they dropping out and what can be done to get them back on track to graduate? Elizabeth Brackett looks at two programs with some answers.

Forum focuses on lowering dropout rate for students

St. Louis Today, St. Louis, MO – November 8, 2011

School teacher Barrett Taylor said schools need to adapt curricula to fit student needs.  The CPB has partnered with youth advocacy group America's Promise Alliance and the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation to address the dropout problem. Monday's American Graduate Teacher Town Hall meeting was the first of 12 to be held across the country.

Juvenile Justice

New option for girls in juvenile justice system
The Capital, Annapolis, MD – November 12, 2011
For the first time, Baltimore girls going through the juvenile justice system now have an alternative to detention while waiting to be adjudicated - an alternative that's been available to boys for years.

Restorative Justice for Santa Clara County's Youth Court
Mercury News, Santa Clara, CA – November 9, 2011

In my State of the County address, I stated that my big, hairy audacious goal as a county supervisor is to put juvenile hall out of business. My vision is that we will transform the Juvenile Justice System, shifting the emphasis from punishment to reform. I believe that quite often these young children can be shown how to become good-standing members of their community. This is possible even if they have made an early detour into the justice system.

Foster Care

Program helps make transition from foster more successful
The Miami Herald, Coconut Grove, FL – November 12, 2011
Casa Valentina was created to provide safe and affordable housing for young women who had aged out of foster care. But in the five years since opening its doors, the nonprofit has become much more.

Advocates pushing for more help for foster children in Kentucky after they turn 18
The Republic, Lexington, KY – November 12, 2011
Evicted and struggling to save money to buy a car, 19-year-old Clairessa Johnson often feels hopeless.  Johnson and her infant daughter have been staying with a friend and she's saving what she can from a minimum-wage fast-food job in Lexington.
 

At Children's Village, Finding the WAY Home
 Rivertowns Patch, Rivertowns, NY – November 10, 2011
It’s hard enough growing up in foster care.  It’s harder still to establish an independent adult life when you’re abruptly shifted from a residential care setting, like Dobbs Ferry’s Children’s Village, into an unstructured and untethered existence as you age out of the system.

Teen Pregnancy

CDC director: Reducing teen pregnancy will reduce ‘societal inequality’
The Florida Independent, Florida – November 11, 2011
Centers for Disease Control and Prevention Director Thomas Frieden said Wednesday that reducing teen pregnancy should be a major public health priority in the U.S., according to the National Journal. Friedan said teen pregnancy affects health care costs and limits opportunities for young girls.


State's Division of Public Health releases adolescent sexual health plan
Dover Post, Dover, DE – November 7, 2011
The Delaware Division of Public Health's Teen Pregnancy Prevention Advisory Board has released an Adolescent Sexual Health State Plan to help Delawareans become involved in preventing teen pregnancy and sexually transmitted infections.

Monday, November 07, 2011

This Week's News: Youth in Transition

Education

County students at Virtual fulfill graduation requirements online
Las Vegas Review-Journal, Clark County, NV – November 6, 2011
Fifteen-year-old Jared Smith sat in a high school classroom for the last time on Monday.  No, he's not a Doogie Howser kind of genius graduating early. He's not being home-schooled by his mom. And he's not dropping out.

Truancy a family affair
The Beacon-News, Illinois – November 6, 2011
They’re mostly teenagers, mostly male, and mostly under the assumption they have something better to do with their days than listen to a teacher drone on about algebra or British Literature.  That’s the conception most people have of students who are chronically truant from school.

Trimble clearing obstacles to graduation for at-risk students
Madison Courier, Trimble County, IN – November 2, 2011
This year the Trimble County High School is trying something new to increase the graduation rate and decrease the dropout rate. The school began a credit recovery program that is helping 18 students who have fallen behind to obtain their high school diploma.

Juvenile Justice

Program aimed at cutting African-American teens in juvenile justice system open to girls
The Republic, Baltimore, IN – November 2, 2011
A program meant to reduce the number of African-American boys in the juvenile justice system is being expanded to include girls. The program collaborates with the teens and their families, to encourage the teens to address the underlying issues that lead to anti-social or deviant behavior.


Foster Care

Fighting to change foster care
KXAN, Austin, TX – November 3, 2011
When Courtney Jones looks at photos of herself when she was a young child, she often wonders what she was thinking at that age. Courtney was part of a state panel that recommended changes to the Texas foster care system.’’

Aging out at 21? Child welfare advocates say yes
NewsWorks, PA – November 2, 2011
Federal legislation passed in 2008 provides matching funds for states to provide foster care services through age 21 for most young adults, but Pennsylvania is one of the majority of states that have not extended assistance.  At a public hearing held by state Sen. LeAnna Washington in Philadelphia Wednesday, 18-year-old Braheem Farmer testified in favor of more services for older youth.

Grant aids young people leaving foster care
The Columbian, Washington – October 31, 2011
A local program that helps young people transition out of foster care is receiving a $100,000 grant from a national nonprofit that focuses on those at-risk youth. Innovative Services NW announced that its Transitions Program will be receiving the one-year, $100,000 grant from the Andrus Family Fund.

Teen Pregnancy

Abt Associates to Study the Effectiveness of Teen Pregnancy Prevention Programs
The Sacramento Bee, Bethesda, MA – November 3, 2011
Abt Associates, a global research and program implementation company, today announced it has been awarded an $11.1 million contract by the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services to evaluate the effectiveness of replications of three teen pregnancy prevention program models.  

Educating to prevent teen pregnancy
Chicago Parent, Illinois – November 4, 2011
Talking to their teens about sex is awkward for most parents, so three local agencies are joining to make the conversation a little easier.  Chicago Public Schools and the Chicago Department of Public Health are attacking the problem of teen pregnancy by partnering with Plan Parenthood of Illinois to teach parents how to talk to their kids.

Pregnant pauses
The News Star, Louisiana - November 5, 2011
In 2004, Ouachita Parish's teen birth rate was 54.7, reflecting the number of births per 1,000 teen females ages 15 to 19, according to data released by the Department of Health and Hospitals. In 2009, that rate increased to 65.7.  That's why GO CARE this Saturday will start implementing a Centers for Disease Control-funded teen pregnancy prevention program.

Monday, October 31, 2011

This Week's News: Youth in Transition

Education

Tackle dropout rate one at-risk student at a time
Shreveport Times, Louisiana – October 29, 2011
Cutting Louisiana's high school dropout rate is a cause with many supporters, but even more are needed. Every resident should attack the sources that result in one out of six students dropping out each year — their actions affecting not only the student but the state's future prosperity.

EDUCATION: Battle on to increase graduation, college-going rates
The Press-Enterprise, Inland Empire, CA – October 30, 2011
A generation ago, a high school degree was enough to land a decent-paying job at the local steel mill or aerospace plant and gain entry to the middle class.  In the years since, the job market has evolved into one that requires more brain power and less muscle.

Three of Four Students Not Prepared for College, City Says
The New York Times, New York, NY – October 24, 2011
Three quarters of New York City students who were high school freshmen in 2006 did not leave high school prepared for college, new data from the city Education Department shows.   Still, of the students in that cohort, about 46 percent had enrolled in a two or four-year college by late 2010. CUNY's START program provides remediation for students who did not pass the reading, writing and math placement exams.

Juvenile Justice

Senate Takes on Juvenile Justice Reforms
WCTV, Tallahassee, FL – October 29, 2011
Some of the same accountability measures that were introduced in public K-12 schools over the last decade are coming to the state's juvenile justice facilities.  Under a proposed law (SPB 7016) that will be considered Wednesday in a Senate education committee, school districts and the private companies involved in educating youth in the state's detention centers, residential treatment facilities and prevention programs would be subjected to a three-tier performance rating, from "failing" to "high performance."

Juvenile Justice – Governor Mead Calls For Changes
K2 Radio, Casper, WY – October 28, 2011
Changes to juvenile justice law won’t likely come during the next legislative session, that from Governor, Matt Mead, who is expected at the dedication of a new juvenile detention center in Casper Saturday. Mead says he wants a plan for the future that is state-based and works with alternatives already in use by some prosecutors in the state.  He sites practices in Natrona County that he says are providing alternatives to incarceration, “and rather than detaining them, getting them back in school, getting them education, and moving forward.

Five regional counties look at ways to improve juvenile justice systems
The Kansas City Star, Kansas – October 23, 2011
A national group that helped Missouri counties put fewer children in juvenile detention is turning its attention to Kansas. Jackson County officials credit the Annie E. Casey Foundation’s Juvenile Detention Alternatives Initiative with cutting juvenile detention by about two-thirds over the past five years.



Foster Care

New group offers help for foster care ‘age outs’
The North Wind, Michigan – October 28, 2011
What started as a concerned student meeting with an adviser led to the group’s formation over the summer.  This fall marked the beginning of S.O.S. Networking for Success, a new student group on Northern’s campus.  S.O.S. Networking for Success is a student organization that provides mentoring and social networking for independent students at Northern Michigan University. “We invite first generation students, young single parents, students that have been in the foster care system and any others who lack a family support system,” said S.O.S. founder Cassandra Evers.

Project tries to help foster kids who turn 18 and leave system
Radio Iowa, Iowa – October 25, 2011
A new project in eastern Iowa aims to smooth the transition for foster children who age out of the system. Organizers of “Bridging the Gap” will meet today with Iowa Senator Chuck Grassley to discuss the program. Grassley, who co-founded and is co-chairman of the Senate Caucus on Foster Youth, says thousands of foster kids nationwide are falling through cracks in the system.

Exclusive: A rough ride into adulthood
News-Press, Florida – October 24, 2011
Earlier this month, 15 teenagers in foster care gathered in a room dotted with inspirational messages and portraits of ubersuccessful people, such as Oprah Winfrey and the president.  "What do you want to be when you grow up?" asked the speaker who had been talking to them about preparing a resume.

Teen Pregnancy

City program tackles rising teen pregnancy rate
Medille Reports, Illinois – October 27, 2011
Despite a steady decade-long decline in teen birth rates in the U.S., rates have risen in Illinois.  Illinois ranks 18th in the country for teen birth rates with a rate of 60.0 per 1,000 teens, according to the Illinois Department of Public Health, compared with the U.S. rate of 56.8.

Researchers study link between teen pregnancy, poverty
The Daily O’Collegian, Oklahoma – October 24, 2011
Social service providers in the Tulsa area have asked researchers from The Oklahoma State University Center of Family Resilience to help end poverty and teen pregnancy. The study is part of the Tulsa Teen Pregnancy Prevention Coalition, which is joined by multiple social service organizations.  

Girls, Inc. to open new teen pregnancy help centers in Frayser

WMC TV, Memphis, TN – October 25, 2011
A community in a pregnancy crisis is getting some help. Tuesday, Girls, Inc. announced the opening of two new pregnancy help centers in Frayser.  Deborah Hester-Harrison, President of Girl's Incorporated, said the new after-school centers would will allow her organization to do more in the battle against teen pregnancy.

Monday, October 24, 2011

This Week's News: Youth in Transition

Education

Teacher uses experience as dropout to help at-risk students
Standard-Examiner, Ogden, UT – October 17, 2011
When Cassie Cox dropped out of high school in 1992, all she saw were dead ends. Now, 19 years later, she inspires the at-risk students at Two Rivers High School to reach for the stars. She credits her life change to one major thing: education.

New PSAs, Microsite Aim to Keep Teens in School
AdAge – October 18, 2011
The U.S. Army and the Ad Council are introducing new PSAs in their Boost Up campaign encouraging students ages 9 to 17 to stay in school. The TV, radio, print, outdoor and online work was produced pro bono by Publicis, New York.  The effort targets friends, parents and adult influencers of at-risk students, directing them to go to www.BoostUp.org to learn about dropout rates, the challenges of staying in school until graduation and how to get involved with students or classroom projects in their communities.

Educators work to reach kids during 'pivotal years'
The Tennessean, Tennessee – October 17, 2011
Reforming high schools was Tennessee’s last big effort.  State lawmakers revamped credit and testing requirements while local districts opened special wings for freshmen, grouped sophomores by career interest and touted online classes to pull more seniors across the finish line.

Juvenile Justice

Justice & Defense Departments Provide $20 Million to Support Military Children and Families
Joining Forces – October 17, 2011
On Friday, I was honored to join General Raymond Odierno, Chief of Staff of the U.S. Army, and Dr. Jill Biden, the Second Lady of the United States – and a proud Blue Star mom – at the Office of Juvenile Justice and Delinquency Prevention’s National Conference, “Children’s Justice & Safety: Unite, Build, Lead.”  During this three-day conference, more than 2,500 juvenile justice practitioners and experts gathered to reflect upon and redouble current efforts to build a brighter, more secure, and more just future for our nation’s young people.

Foster Care

Youth program gains statewide recognition
Times-Standard, Humboldt County, CA – October 23, 2011
The Humboldt County Transition Age Youth Collaboration program is being recognized by a statewide organization for innovation in county government.   The merit award was given by the California State Association of Counties, which presents a small number of Challenge and Merit Awards each year. The program was one of nine merit awardees chosen from more than 250 entries. ”The name of this awards program has never been more appropriate,” said Paul McIntosh, the association's executive director. “The 2011 Challenge and Merit Awards exemplify the amazing spirit and commitment of our counties and the dedicated individuals who provide the vital services that 38 million Californians depend on every day.”

Teen Pregnancy

Grant Money Used to Help Prevent Teen Pregnancy
CBS 47, Fresno, CA – October 21, 2011
Hundreds of thousands of dollars in grant money will be used to help prevent teenage pregnancies in the Valley.  Sarah Villa got pregnant when she was just 16-years-old. "You know I was in shock that it happened to me. I was a straight 'A' student, so it was a difficult thing for our family," said Villa. She says too many teenagers think it won't happen to them.

Grant to Examine and Reduce High Incidence of American Indian Teen Pregnancy
Indian Country Today Media Network, South Dakota – October 18, 2011
Teen pregnancy rates among American Indians in South Dakota exceed the rest of the state’s population by four times, reported the Rapid City Journal.  Sanford Research and the University of South Dakota (USD) have been awarded a $1.5 million grant to address related issues and lower the rate of pregnant American Indian teens.

Monday, October 17, 2011

This Week's News: Youth in Transition

Education

Hispanic agency targets high school dropouts
Poughkeepsie Journal, Poughkeepsie, NY – October 12, 2011
Kids need support in school and at home to reduce the dropout rate of Hispanic high school students. Bernice Rodriguez-Morton, president of the Association of Hispanics to Obtain Resources, said family involvement and early intervention are key factors that can help reduce the dropout rate.

Education program for high school drop-outs launched
Petoskey News, Petoskey, MI – October 12, 2011
A federally funded program to pay at-risk youth to educate themselves is in the works in northwest Lower Michigan. The YouthBuild program of Northwest Michigan Works! is intended to serve high school drop-outs with social or economic disadvantages by helping them achieve a GED and additional career training.

Grant helps KACV-TV tackle high school dropout crisis
Connect Amarillo, Amarillo, TX – October 12, 2011
One in five adults in Amarillo does not have a high school diploma.  That's a fact KACV-TV  is now working to change.  Earlier in the summer, KACV received one of 41 nationwide American Graduate Community Engagement Grants to help raise awareness about what some would call the "dropout crisis".

Juvenile Justice

Young Offenders Get Second Chance
LakeElsinore-Wildomar Patch, Lake Elsinore, CA – October 16, 2011
The Elsinore Valley Youth Court Diversion Program gives young offenders a second chance to learn from their mistakes before their cases are referred to the Juvenile Court System.

Results instead of revenge: A new plan for juvenile justice
Vanderbilt University News – October 13, 2011
The struggle against juvenile crime may come down to one simple question, says a Vanderbilt University researcher: Do we want revenge or do we want results?  If we want results, says Christopher Slobogin, the Milton Underwood Professor of Law at Vanderbilt University Law School, we should dramatically reform the system to stress community-based treatment over incarceration.

Foster Care

New Law Protects Foster Children From Identity Theft
Fox News, Providence, RI – October 9, 2011
Dee Saint Franc left the Rhode Island foster care system eager to start life on her own. But when she tried sign up for cable and Internet at Verizon, she learned that breaking free from her past wouldn't be easy.

Program helps foster kids take next step
9News, Kusa, CO – October 9, 2011
It's a tough time for people out of work to find a job, regardless of age. Though some, particularly adults in their 20's and 30's are living with their parents when they can't pay the bills, that isn't an option for most kids who grew up in the Foster system. That's where Forward Steps can help.

Teen Pregnancy

Teen pregnancy rate down in Milwaukee
WHBL, Milwaukee, WI – October 12, 2011
Fewer kids are having kids in Milwaukee for the second year in a row.  City officials said almost 36 of every 1,000-teenagers had babies last year. That’s 5.6-less than in 2009 – when a similar drop was reported.  The teen birth rate was as high as 52-per-thousand in 2006, and it brought Milwaukee some unwanted national attention.  Three years ago, the city and its United Way joined forces to attack the problem.

DC Leaders Focus on Teen Pregnancy
MyFoxDC, Washington, DC – October 11, 2011
Did you know 60 percent of all pregnancies in the District are not planned? And public officials say many of those are involving teenagers in D.C.

'Put pregnancy on pause,' event urges Spartanburg teenagers
GoUpstate, Spartanburg County, SC – October 16, 2011
For 57.3 seconds, teens and college students paused in place as screens ticked off the time. The seconds represented the number of infants, 573, born in 2009 to teens ages 15 through 19, in Spartanburg County.  That was just one statistic revealed at an event called PAUSE for a PURPOSE.

Monday, October 10, 2011

This Week's News: Youth in Transition

Education

New Report Details High School Dropout Prevention Efforts
U.S. News & World Report – October 3, 2011
Most high school districts offer some sort of dropout prevention program, according to a new report released last week by the National Center for Education Statistics.

USD 437 sees progress in preventing dropouts
The Topeka Capital-Journal, Topeka, KS – October 3, 2011
Auburn-Washburn Unified School District 437 board of education members heard a report Monday that shows the district’s dropout prevention efforts are working.

'My Idea' Aims to Mobilize High School Students and Solve Dropout Crisis
TMCnet, Washington, DC – October 5, 2011
More than one million students every year, that is around one in four public school pupils, never complete high school. AT&T has made a generous donation to America’s Promise Alliance for the My Idea program. This is a program that works at helping solve the dropout crisis and helping students improve on their own lives as well as their peers.

Juvenile Justice

National Youth Justice Awareness Month Aims to Raise Issue of Juvenile Incarceration
Juvenile Justice Information Exchange – October 7, 2011
This October marks the fourth annual National Youth Justice Awareness Month. The month long program, sponsored by the Campaign for Youth Justice, involves activities and events across the United States that are centered on raising awareness and civic involvement with youth justice issues, primarily the incarceration of minors in the prison system of the nation.

Stephen Wise Renews Push for Juvenile Justice Reform
Sunshine State News, Florida – October 6, 2011
Two years after the Legislature softened Florida's zero-tolerance law in schools to prevent students from being sent to juvenile justice facilities for minor offenses, lawmakers are eager to take a second crack at juvenile justice reforms.

Group receives $135,000 grant to promote juvenile rehab programs
Arkansas News, Little Rock, AK – October 4, 2011
A child advocacy group said today it will use a $135,000 grant to fund a public information campaign promoting the success and importance of juvenile rehabilitation programs.  Paul Kelly, senior policy analyst for Arkansas Advocates for Children and Families, announced the 18-month grant from the Washington, D.C.-based Public Welfare Foundation as juvenile justice officials emphasized Arkansas’ need for more community-based programs to address the needs of non-violent juvenile offenders.

Foster Care

DCF may extend benefits to more young adults
The CT Mirror, CT – October 3, 2011
The state has been Mufasa Abdulbasil's guardian for nearly 10 years, seeing to his needs for everything from food and shelter to clothes for school. But unless he goes to college when he turns 18--something he's not sure about now--he'll be on his own. But that may soon change. DCF Commissioner Joette Katz said she is looking into whether it makes sense for the state to extend services for children until age 21, and ask the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services to split the cost.

Foster Kids Ask For More Encouragement To Go To College
Hartford Courant, New Haven, CT – October 3, 2011
Alixes Rosado, who has been in and out of the state's foster care system since he was 6 and is now a senior at the University of New Haven, credits his success in part to his social worker.  "The kids [who] have somebody there caring for them and wanting them to succeed are going to do it," Rosado, 22, said Monday at a forum for legislators and state officials. "We all need a little push."

Teen Pregnancy

Revamping Sex Education: A New Approach to the Birds and the Bees
Huffington Post, New York, NY – October 6, 2011
New York City School Chancellor Dennis Walcott and Mayor Michael Bloomberg should be commended for their push to improve family life and sex education for public school students in grades 6-12. Current data indicate African-American and Latino teens in New York City have extraordinarily high rates of pregnancy, sexually transmitted infections and sexual risk-taking. Public education has an obligation to address this frightening trend.

Fonda says comprehensive approach needed to reduce teen pregnancy
The Daily Citizen, Georgia – October 6, 2011
When Jane Fonda founded the Georgia Campaign for Adolescent Pregnancy Prevention (G-CAPP) in 1996, the state had the highest teen pregnancy rate in the nation. Today, it ranks 13th. That’s considerable progress, but there’s still more work to be done.

Monday, October 03, 2011

This Week's News: Youth in Transition

Education

Maryland graduation rate at record 87%
The Washington Post, Maryland – September 30, 2011
Eighty-seven percent of Maryland students in the Class of 2011 received a high school diploma last spring, the highest graduation rate on record, according to state data released Friday.

Graduation Matters: Success in life starts in high school, freshmen told 

Missoulian, Missoula County, MT – September 27, 2011
Nearly 1,000 high school freshmen took a seat in an uncommon venue Tuesday morning to hear what will become a common message for their next four years: Graduation matters.

Massachusetts considers raising school dropout age
Taunton Daily Gazette, Boston, MA – September 26, 2011
They can’t legally drink, smoke, vote or sign a contract, but 16-year-olds in Massachusetts can drop out of school without their parents’ consent.  A new push to raise the dropout age from 16 to 18 comes at a time when close to 70 percent of high school graduates nationwide are choosing college, and there is fierce competition for jobs.

Juvenile Justice

Juvenile Justice commissioner says community is vital to department’s mission
The Daily Citizen, Dalton, GA – September 29, 2011
Having a close connection to the community is vital to the Georgia Department of Juvenile Justice’s mission, says Commissioner Amy Howell.  “Our function is to keep our communities safe and our young people safe and to turn them out in better shape than they came in,” Howell said Wednesday during a visit to Dalton’s Elbert Shaw Regional Youth Detention Center (RYDC).

Changing the focus of juvenile justice
Argus Leader, Minnehaha County, SD – Septmeber 30, 2011
Minnehaha County is locking up fewer delinquent juveniles for petty offenses than it did a year ago, but officials tasked with finding alternatives to detention say there's still work to do.

Foster Care

Former Foster Kids Get A Helping Hand
KERO23, Bakersfield, CA – October 1, 2011
Imagine starting out on your own with nothing. That’s exactly what foster kids have to do when they turn 18. But Saturday they got help from the community.  Stephanie Ortega is a former foster child.  "It’s very hard going through foster care because you don’t have that stability," Ortega said.

Donation Drive to Help Foster Teens Become Independent
Fox26, Fresno, CA – October 2, 2011
Volunteers load an old dresser and a couple lawn chairs into a storage unit – donations for local foster teens.  "It's a big responsibility. Especially when you don't have a family or you don't have people to rely on.  It's real hard and the programs that they provide you helps out a lot," said Sade Brown, who is a beneficiary of the donation drive.

D.C. Group Helps Foster Children Succeed After Emancipation
WAMU 88.5, Washington, D.C. – September 27, 2011
When D.C.'s children in foster care reach age 18, many begin to leave the system in a process called emancipation. Without continued support, some of these so-called 'foster kids' will fail as they become adults; but one local group is helping provide them with a leg up.

Teen Pregnancy

Study aims to reduce teen pregnancy among Montgomery Hispanics
Maryland Community News, Maryland – September 28, 2011
A multi-year county study focused on reducing teenage pregnancy among Hispanics began this week, as new statistics show a gap between pregnancy rates for Hispanic teens and others has widened.

Education key to lower teen birth rates
The Star Democrat, Cambridge, MD – October 2, 2011
It's a touchy subject, often discussed under the topic of adolescent health, but adolescent pregnancy is one of the biggest concerns for women's health, according to Dr. Kevin Kearney at Choptank Community Health Services' Women's Health Center in Cambridge.

Low funding, budget cuts may contribute to rise in teen pregnancy locally
ENC Today, North Carolina – October 2, 2011
Young girls who are barely old enough to operate a car are having to take the wheel of not only their future but that of their children.  Though teen pregnancy rates are slightly dropping around the country, the numbers are still high and it’s becoming more and more commonplace, depicted in popular television shows such as “16 and Pregnant,” “Teen Mom” and “The Secret Life of the American Teenager.”  

Monday, September 26, 2011

This Week's News: Youth in Transition

Education

Denzel Washington on Dropouts: 'Most Dangerous Time' for Kids Right After School
PBS – September 21, 2011
In the first installment of an 18-month series on the nation's high school dropout rate, Gwen Ifill sits down with Academy Award-winning actor Denzel Washington to discuss his work as national spokesman for the Boys & Girls Clubs of America and making a difference in the lives of at-risk youth.

Alternative Opportunities gives high school drop outs a second chance
KY3, Springfield, MO – September 22, 2011
The lost earnings for the 2010 Missouri high school dropouts totals nearly $5.2 billion dollars. One organization in the Ozarks is trying to reverse that trend by helping kids get back on track.

Rising freshmen complete Communities In Schools graduation camp
Salisbury Post, Rowan County, NC – September 22, 2011
Thirty rising North Rowan High School freshmen completed a 12-day camp, the culmination of the Communities In Schools (CIS) of Rowan County’s Mission Possible: Graduation,” funded by the North Carolina Department of Education and Drop Out Prevention, this summer.

Juvenile Justice

New York Judge Seeks New System for Juveniles
The New York Times, New York – September 20, 2011
New York State has long dealt with 16- and 17-year-old defendants more severely than almost every other state, trying all of them as adults in criminal courts. Now, New York’s chief judge is calling for a less punitive approach that would focus on finding ways to rehabilitate them.

Juvenile grant aimed at rehabilitation
The News-Messenger, Sandusky County, OH – September 24, 2011
Counties across Ohio have limited funding for juvenile rehabilitation programs, though court statistics suggest just locking kids up does little to change their behavior. In Sandusky County, at least, a recently-received federal grant is aimed at addressing that problem.

Juvenile Probation Program Shows Results
WIFR, Winnebago County, IL – September 21, 2011
Five thousand Winnebago County residents are on probation and nearly a fifth of them are kids. However, an old juvenile probation initiative is making new progress.

Foster Care

CASA volunteers work to find support for youth aging out of welfare system
Midland Reporter-Telegram – September 11, 2011
A recent report issued by the Evan B. Donaldson Adoption Institute in New York found a growing number of children in foster care are aging out of the system without any connections to adults, resulting in a disproportionate number of young men and women becoming parents or ending up homeless or in jail. CASA volunteers are committed to helping children find permanent, safe homes as quickly as possible.


State House to Vote on Bill to Extend Foster Care
Public News Service, Lansing, MI – September 20, 2011
Most young adults in Michigan who turn 18 still have a support system to fall back on, even if they are away at college or living on their own. But for those in foster care, 18 is when they "age out" of the system and no longer qualify for supportive services.  That could change under a package of bills before a legislative committee today which would extend foster-care services to age 21.

Forum encourages adoptions of older children
Houston Chronicle, Texas – September 24, 2011
Just five months removed from foster care, 18-year-old Andre Crumedy is already beating the odds.  The Texas A&M student is among the 10 percent of foster children to enroll in postsecondary school.

Teen Pregnancy

More Texas Schools Teach Safe Sex With Abstinence
Texas Tribune, Midland, TX – September 19, 2011
In the spring, public school students in Midland will cross what until very recently was the political third rail of sex education. For the first time, they will be taught about contraception — and how to practice safe sex.

Group aims to guide teen girls to success, prevent pregnancy
Vindy.com, Youngstown, OH – September 19, 2011
The Sisters of Serenity nonprofit mentoring group is looking for a few good girls — or at least those striving to be better. Neoma McDowell, founder of the program for teenage girls, plans an orientation for girls between ages 11 and 16 who want to get involved with the mentoring program. According to McDowell, the group seeks to establish and reinforce good qualities in teenage girls.

Monday, September 19, 2011

This Week's News: Youth in Transition

Education

Magic Johnson's new venture: helping LA high school dropouts
ABC7, Los Angeles, CA – September 12, 2011
Magic Johnson is teaming up with EdisonLearning to help improve high school dropout rates of African-American and Latino students in Los Angeles County.

Blacks in Berkeley Are Beating National High School Graduation Rate
The Atlanta Post, Berkeley, CA – September 16, 2011
California educators have found that African-American students are graduating from high school in the city of Berkeley at a much higher rate than the national average.

Dropouts Face a Future with More Jobs But Less Options, Study Finds
Youth Today – September 16, 2011
The number of jobs available to dropouts and high school graduates will go up this decade, but there also will be far more jobs for which they are not eligible, according to a study on the future of jobs in the Midwest states.

Juvenile Justice

Three Strategies for Changing Juvenile Justice
Juvenile Justice Information Exchange – September 12, 2011
A recent report from the National Juvenile Justice Network (NJJN), titled, “Bringing Youth Home: A National Movement to Increase Public Safety, Rehabilitate Youth and Save Money,” documented the extraordinary number of states and jurisdictions (at least 24) that are closing or downsizing their youth correctional facilities, due to budget cuts, legislation, lawsuits, and pressure from reformers. (Download the report for tips on ways to downsize wisely.)  This is a good thing, because it means taxpayers can save money or avoid the high cost of incarceration, and reallocate those monies to community-based programs that are more effective at helping young people turn their lives around.

Program to help Hawaii youth in justice system
Houston Chronicle, Honolulu, HI – September 14, 2011
A new program has been launched to help youth in the juvenile justice system.  Nonprofit Hale Kipa, which works with at-risk youth and their families, said Tuesday it's the first program of its kind in Hawaii.

Foster Care

Separated in Foster Care, Siblings Reunite in Camp
The New York Times, Kattskill Bay, NY – September 16, 2011
The crisp morning swims in Lake George were quite a change of pace for Shakeema, an 8-year-old from Far Rockaway, Queens. But so was spending five days straight with her sisters, Kendra, 10, and Marquia, 7, who live in the Bronx.

Aiding Young People in Foster Care
The Wall Street Journal, New York, NY – September 19, 2011
To Chris Del Gatto, the mark of a good charity is its efficiency.  The 41-year-old chairman and chief executive of Circa, a reseller of high-end jewelry, has contributed $50,000 to New Yorkers for Children to support its annual fall gala. The gala, to be held Tuesday night at Cipriani 42, is among the glitziest events of the black-tie season. New Yorkers for Children works closely with the New York City Administration for Children's Services to support the roughly 15,000 young people in foster care by providing college scholarships, networking opportunities, tutoring programs and job training.

Teen Pregnancy

Agencies plan edgy campaign for youth sexual education
Reporter Herald, Larimer County, CO – September 15, 2011
Are you "doing IT?"  The IT is not what you think.  The "doing IT? Think Ahead. Plan Now." campaign is an effort to get sexual health information out to Larimer County teens and young adults by raising the question of "doing what?  It's kind of edgy. It's out there," said Kim Sharpe, coordinator of the Healthier Communities Coalition of Larimer County in Fort Collins.  Since April 2009, nearly 30 agencies who serve teens in Larimer County have been meeting to cooperatively address the issue of teen pregnancy. Their goal is to educate youths about the importance of reproductive life planning.

D.C. schools prepare for nation’s first sex-education standardized testing
The Washington Post, Washington, D.C. – September 14, 2011
D.C. public and public charter schools, which annually test student progress in reading and math, will also measure what they know about human sexuality, contraception and drug use starting this spring.  The 50-question exam will be the nation’s first statewide standardized test on health and sex education, according to the Office of the State Superintendent of Education, which developed the assessment for grades 5, 8 and 10.

Monday, September 12, 2011

This Week's News: Youth in Transition

Education

Project Rise offers second chance for high school dropouts
The Kansas City Star, Kansas City, MO – September 6, 2011
Times are tough for unemployed young people, but Kansas City leaders announced a program Tuesday that should provide a second chance for some lucky high school dropouts. “This is the way up and out,” Mayor Sly James said at a news conference to announce Project Rise. “The best social program we can offer is a job.”

Grant will help keep students in school
Statesman Journal, Salem-Keizer, OR – September 5, 2011
Salem-Keizer has the second-lowest graduation rate of the large districts in the state.  Officials hope that a $10.7 million federal grant will turn those numbers around during the next four years. The grant is one of 29 High School Graduation Initiative awards given to districts throughout the country to boost persistently low-performing schools.


‘Walk for Success’
The Times and Democrat, Orangeburg, SC – September 6, 2011
Orangeburg's three school districts took a "walk for success" Saturday, Aug. 27, to contact dropouts and get them back into school, but Edisto High had reached a 100-percent success rate before the day began.

Juvenile Justice

Test sets youths’ fitness for trial

The Columbus Dispatch, Ohio – September 6, 2011

Judging whether a child can stand trial for a crime should become easier next month, as Ohio enacts its first competency standards for juveniles.  No longer will clinicians struggle to apply adult standards to defendants younger than 18. Advocates hope that having statewide standards will make it easier on the courts, too.

Study Looks at Strategies for Juvenile Justice Reform
Juvenile Justice Information Exchange – September 6, 2011
Much of the nation has seen a drop in the incarceration rates for juvenile offenders, in part because of tight state budgets and falling crime rates.  That a trend has been established is not in question, say advocates. What remains to be seen, however, is whether this will be short lived or will prove to be a permanent shift in juvenile justice policy.

Foster Care

REACH to Invest in the Lives of America's Foster Youth
Huffington Post – September 8, 2011
Kim was a foster child and later adopted. Her personal experience in foster care fuels her motivation to help and support others, which is why she founded REACH -- Realizing Every Action Creates Hope. Too often, foster youth find themselves lost and unaware of what it takes to really become an "adult" at 18. This is even the case for non-foster children.

Teen Pregnancy

Study: Teen births cost Miss. $154.9M in '09
Houston Chronicle, Jackson, MS – September 8, 2011
Groups pushing for comprehensive sex education classes in Mississippi schools say there's a good economic reason for what they're doing.  A new analysis shows births to teen or preteen mothers cost the state $154.9 million in 2009.

Hewlett Foundation provides support to the city's disadvantaged youth
The Western Edition, San Francisco, CA – September 8, 2011
Through a program called “Serving Bay Area Communities,” the Hewlett Foundation based in Menlo Park has established itself as one of the major supporters of social services in the Bay Area. The Third Street Youth Center and Clinic is housed in a former liquor store. Where booze once flowed out the doors, now 1,000 young people yearly between the ages of 12 and 24 have received medical care, sexual education, health education and more.

New curriculum focuses on more than sex
NWI.com, Valparaiso, IN – September 5, 2011
On Monday night, members of A Positive Approach to Teen Health, or PATH, trained to teach the program Planned Potential to Northwest Indiana middle school students. The Planned Potential program was written by members of PATH with the help of a federal grant. While the grant is related to sex education and the Planned Potential program talks about relationships, it also discusses the importance of life choices, the legacy you want to leave behind and how every person has value.

Tuesday, September 06, 2011

This Week's News: Youth in Transition

Education

Grand Rapids trying to get high school dropouts back in the classroom
Michigan Radio, Grand Rapids, MI – August 30, 2011
A new program launching this fall in Grand Rapids will try to help high school dropouts earn both their high school diplomas and some college credit.  The program is a joint effort of Grand Rapids Public Schools and Grand Rapids Community College.

Yakima Valley schools are building a graduation foundation
Yakima Herald-Republic, Yakima, WA – September 3, 2011
With an increased dedication to personal classroom attention, as well as help from some huge federal grants, the Valley's challenged schools are working to keep their students in class and on track toward graduation.

Norman schools tapped for national pilot program
Houston Chronical, Norman, OK – August 30, 2011
Norman Public Schools is one of four school districts across the country selected for a national pilot program that focuses on digital learning.

Juvenile Justice

New program orders young female offenders to the gym
KENS5, San Antonio, TX – September 1, 2011
A new court diversion program requires young offenders to go to the gym. It’s an innovative new partnership between the district attorney’s office and the YMCA. The idea is to keep young girls from becoming repeat offenders.

Foster Care

Out of Foster Care -- and Into What?
Gotham Gazette, New York City, NY – August 2011
When Chimore Mack Glover recently turned 21, she aged out of the New York City foster child program and so needed a place to live.  "I usually plan things ahead of time, and my first step was to get a job and find a place to live," she recalled recently. She tried to stay with family members, but one turned her down, Her grandmother was sick and so could not help.

Online program helps with foster kids' education
San Francisco Chronicle, San Francisco, CA – September 4, 2011
The onset of the new school year in San Francisco comes with a new and relatively affordable attempt to help improve education for children entangled in the state's troubled foster care system. The San Francisco Unified School District is the latest in California to participate in Foster Focus, a Web-based service that allows school officials and social workers to track and share crucial records that often fail to follow foster children as they transfer to new schools.

Race a Major Factor in Foster Care Disparities
Los Angeles Sentinel, Los Angeles, CA - August 29, 2011
In Los Angeles and across the nation, there are clear disparities in foster care and Black children are faring far worse than their white counterparts. For Los Angeles Congresswoman Karen Bass, foster care reform has long care a top priority. She has repeatedly introduced legislation to increase foster care funding and the quality of services.

Teen Pregnancy

Parenthood Makes Finishing School Difficult For Hispanic Teens
EGPNews.com – September 1, 2011
While some people might think Hispanic parents are passive about their children’s education, the reality is that like most parents, Hispanics want the best for their children. In fact, a 2010 report in Social Science Quarterly shows that Hispanic parents hold higher education and economic achievement for their children as a higher priority than their non-Hispanic U.S. counterparts.  The high rate of teen pregnancy among Hispanic girls, however, is making it tough for many of them to realize their parents’ dreams: or their own dreams for that matter.

Advocates: Proper Sex Education = Fewer Teens Having Sex
Public News Service, St. Paul, MN – August 31, 2011
Giving students the basic details will not make them more likely to engage in sexual activity, supporters of sex education in Minnesota say. In fact, the opposite is true, according to Brigid Riley, executive director of Teenwise Minnesota.

Monday, August 29, 2011

This Week's News: Youth in Transition

Education

Family, income, student interest impact high school dropout rate
The Herald Bulletin, Indianapolis, IN – August 25, 2011
Indiana’s high school dropout rates are smaller than they were five years ago, but according to one measure, one in five of the state’s public schools are still struggling to graduate 70 percent of their students on time.

Joliet Job Corps graduates lauded for their success
The Herald-News, Joliet, IL – August 26, 2011
When Jeff Pierson graduated from Joliet West High School in 1982, the national unemployment rate was 9.7 percent.   Now the president of the Joliet Township High School Board, Pierson was the guest speaker at summer commencement ceremonies for Joliet Job Corps, where he told students the unemployment rate is now 9.2 percent.

Polis renews fight to lower school dropout rate
The Colorado Independent, Colorado – August 26, 2011
The number-one factor fueling high school dropouts across the country is pregnancy and parenthood, a problem Colorado Congressman Jared Polis hopes to address by reintroducing his Pregnant and Parenting Students Access to Education Act.

Juvenile Justice

County program helping troubled youths stay out of detention centers
Southwest Review News, Dakota County, MN – August 21, 2011
As a result of the problems facing the juvenile detention facility, Dakota County Community Corrections, the county attorney's office, the county board and others got together and brainstormed about what could be done to help at-risk youths in the community without overpopulating the detention facility.

Legislature Ponders Juvenile Justice Reforms
WCTV, Tallahassee, FL – August 24, 2011
Florida lawmakers will continue in the coming year to look for ways to save money in juvenile justice and prevent incarcerated kids from committing crimes again.  A procession of juvenile justice experts spoke before a panel of lawmakers and other stakeholders Wednesday to pitch ways to better educate and train incarcerated youth so that they are not tempted to become lifelong criminals.

Youth court gives young offenders second chance
North County Times, Escondido, CA – August 22, 2011
None of the young offenders gathered Tuesday evening in Escondido City Council Chambers looked happy as they answered for their crimes before their parents and a court of their peers ---- but juvenile hall would have been a lot worse.

Foster Care

Burbank program opens its doors to emancipated youth
Southern California Public Radio, Burbank, CA – August 26, 2011
A new program set up to assist 18 to 24 year-old emancipated and homeless youths with transitional housing opened its doors Thursday. The opening of Linden House comes on the heels of the passage of AB12, a bill that extends the age limit for foster care youth from 18 to 21.

A Bag Full of Hope
Morning Star, Traverse City, MI – August 22, 2011
For many foster children “aging out,” the world becomes an even more uncertain place, often with little or no resources or support systems.  Child and Family Services is working to combat those obstacles with special programming to teach foster children life skills. The “Elements” program teaches independent living skills to youth ages 14-18 who are preparing to transition out of foster care.

Teen Pregnancy

Erie's teen birthrate drops to 20-year low
Erie Times-News, Erie, PA – August 23, 2011
Erie teenagers are giving birth at the lowest rate in more than 20 years, turning around one of the city's most pressing public-health concerns.

Teen works to empower other girls in need
San Antonio Express-News – August 22, 2011
You can't always see how you can change someone's life with a small but meaningful exchange of the heart. But if you can change how they look at themselves - their world and their possibilities - change has been set in motion.  In May, Joi Stevens, a 16-year-old junior-to-be at Saint Mary's Hall, interviewed two girls from Seton Home, which provides residence and support services for homeless pregnant teens and teen moms and their children. Stevens did the interview for The Girls Inc. MVP's Town Hall on teenage pregnancy and prevention.  Girls Inc. is a nonprofit organization that encourages girls to be empowered and proactive and bold in fulfilling their potential and being advocates for themselves and others.