Tuesday, May 31, 2011

This Week's News: Youth in Transition


Councilors push bill to reduce dropouts
Boston.com, Boston MA – May 26, 2011
Two Boston city councilors, frustrated that hundreds of city teenagers quit school each year, launched an effort yesterday to persuade the Legislature to raise the legal dropout age in Boston from 16 to 18. Councilors John Connolly and Tito Jackson said that they believe that 16-year-olds are too young to understand the dire consequences of quitting school and that a roughly century-old state law that allows them to do so is outdated. They point to research that shows that high school dropouts make significantly less money than college graduates and are more likely to depend on welfare or go to jail.

National Solution to Black High School Dropout
Defender Network – May 25, 2011
For the last several years there has been an endless stream of negative reporting about the growing and persistent problems of the terrible rate of high school dropout rates for Black American students across the United States. Of course, it is always important to focus on the most critical problems that beset the quality of life of the African American community. But, to just keep describing and analyzing the “problems” of Black American high school dropouts or pointing the fingers at the internal and external forces or contradictions that plague the African American community will do very little to change this situation.

Urlacher signs on to promote military academy
Daily Harold, Rantoul, IL – May 24, 2011
Bears linebacker Brian Urlacher hadn’t heard of Lincoln’s Challenge Academy until recently. But after a whirlwind visit, he’s the military school’s new spokesman. The Illinois National Guard runs Lincoln’s Challenge in Rantoul for high school dropouts from around the state. About 300 students live and go to school at what used to be Chanute Air Force Base.

Juvenile Justice

Juvenile Justice, Criminal Justice Reform On Governor Deal’s Radar, Policy Staffers Say
Juvenile Justice Information Exchange – May 25, 2011
Criminal justice reform – including juvenile justice – is among Georgia Gov. Nathan Deal’s top priorities during his tenure, according to a key member of his policy staff. “As a former juvenile judge this is certainly one of his passions,” said Public Safety Policy Advisor David Werner during the “A Conversation with the Governor’s Policy Staff” event hosted Wednesday by the non-profit Voices for Georgia’s Children.

Juvenile Justice; making “what works” a reality
Prevention Action – May 24, 2011
Politicians want the juvenile justice system to keep the public safe and to deter juveniles from future illegal acts. Scientists want to develop programs that improve the well-being of youth at risk. Therein lies a problem: these two perspectives are not necessarily aligned.

Bill in NY legislature would localize juvenile justice
Times Herald-Record, New York, NY – May 23, 2011
Could a newly introduced bill in the state Assembly spell the end of the state's troubled juvenile justice system? Assemblyman Karim Camara, D-Brooklyn, introduced a bill last week that would give New York City and local counties authority to house their juvenile offenders, instead of in facilities run by the state Office of Children and Family Services. There are two OCFS facilities in our region: the Goshen Secure Center and the Highland Residential Facility.

Number of juveniles incarcerated in Ky. decreases for third consecutive year
The Republic, Owensboro, KY – May 23, 2011
State records show that the number of juveniles being incarcerated in Kentucky has decreased for three consecutive years, according to a newspaper report. A total of 7,100 juveniles were incarcerated in 2010, according to the Messenger-Inquirer, which cited statistics from the state Department of Juvenile Justice and Kentucky Youth Advocates. That's down from 8,883 incarcerations in 2009; 9,834 in 2008; and 11,299 in 2007.

Foster Care

Program aimed at helping foster children
NewsHarold.com, Panama City, FL – May 29, 2011
The Big Bend Community Based Care will launch the “Everybody’s a Teacher” program aimed at encouraging everyone in the community to participate in foster care students’ education. The statewide initiative involves the Big Bend CBC as the lead agency for Community Based Care, the Department of Children and Families, the Agency for Workforce Innovation, the Office of Early Learning the Department of Education and several other organizations. “The program will be implemented to hold community meetings to make sure that everyone that touches these children’s lives are teachers,” said Mary Helen Barnes, the community liaison for Big Bend Community Based Care.

Fewer kids in foster care
The Oxford Press, Columbus, OH – May 27, 2011
Ohio leads the nation in the sharpest percentage drop in kids placed in foster care, despite the fact that the state’s investment in child protection ranks lowest in the country, according to a report released Friday. Between 2001 and 2009, Ohio saw a 42 percent drop in the number of children in placed in out-of-home-care and a 46 percent decrease in the number of kids awaiting adoption, according to the latest Fact Book from the Public Children Services Association of Ohio, which represents public child welfare agencies across the state. Butler County Children Services Director Jeff Centers said the drop is not by accident.

Foster Parents Recognized by Area Foster Care Agency
Norristown Patch – May 25, 2011
Concern, a private, Willow-Grove foster care agency, took May’s designation as National Foster Care Month to shine a light on the people who make foster care possible, foster parents. On May 20, Concern held its annual Foster Parent Appreciation Celebration at na’Brasa Brazilian Steakhouse in Horsham. “It affects your whole life in wonderful ways,” said Dee Faller, a Norristown resident who has been a foster parent for seven years.

Teen Pregnancy

Sex ed sometimes awkward, but necessary
The Berkshire Eagle, Pittsfield, MA – May 29, 2011
The talk. The birds and the bees. It. Whatever you call it -- or don't call it -- sex is a difficult topic to wrap words around, especially if you're an adult trying to talk with a teenager. But a climbing teen birth rate in Berkshire County -- compared with the rest of the state's declining numbers -- is making sexual education in schools and homes a subject that needs attention, according to community leaders who are focusing on that education as a way to tackle the issue of teen pregnancy.
Grant will help Horry County combat teen pregnancy
TheSunNews.com, Myrtle Beach, SC – May 27, 2011
Horry County will reap the benefit of federally funded programs aimed at combating teen pregnancy through the efforts of the S.C. Campaign to Prevent Teen Pregnancy. The organization received a federal grant last year of nearly $1.5 million per year for the next five years, which will be spent on targeted programs in Spartanburg and Horry counties, where teen birth rates are higher than state and national averages, said Forrest Alton, the group's CEO. One of the group's first efforts in Horry was to conduct a county survey on the issue, and results showed a community that by and large acknowledges the issue and wants to see it addressed.

No comments: