Monday, June 13, 2011

This Week's News: Youth in Transition


State leads U.S. with 90.7% graduation rate, Wisconsin – June 11, 2011
Wisconsin has one of the highest graduation rates in the country — the highest, according to one method of calculation — and many of the school districts in Manitowoc County have even higher rates than the state.

New National Campaign Launched To Boost High School Graduation Rate
Diverse, Washington, DC – June 8, 2011
At a news briefing on Tuesday at the U.S. Capitol, a group of representatives from the Campaign for High School Equity coalition unveiled the campaign’s new “Plan For Success” while urging lawmakers to take more decisive steps toward addressing the nation's high school dropout rate.

Conn. House votes to clarify high school dropout age; notifies parents of failing students
Harford, CT – June 6, 2011
The Connecticut House on Monday passed legislation requiring school principals to give parents and guardians a heads-up if their student is in danger of flunking a course. Under the bill, which passed 95-49, principals would notify parents of students in grades six through 12, in writing or electronically, of a possible failing grade at the middle of the marking period or at least six weeks before the grade is final.

Juvenile Justice

New Indiana law aims to help at-risk children
The Herald Bulletin, Lafayette, IN – June 13, 2011
A new state law aims to help at-risk children get services to put them on the right path before they have a criminal record. The Journal & Courier of Lafayette reported that the law essentially allows juvenile court judges to create voluntary programs to provide early intervention options for at-risk young people before they're adjudicated as a delinquent. An adjudication in juvenile court is similar to a conviction for adults.

State saves on alternatives to juvenile detention, Springfield, IL – June 13, 2011
The state saved about $9 million last year by sending 184 youth to community-based services as an alternative to incarceration, according to a report from the Illinois Department of Human Services. Through the Redeploy Illinois program, certain counties commit to reducing, by at least 25 percent, the number of youth incarcerated with the Illinois Department of Juvenile Justice in exchange for grant money that pays for services such as counseling, drug treatment and family support services.

Foster Care

Foster Care Gets an Overhaul
The Wall Street Journal, Alameda County, CA – June 9, 2011
A risky plan to turn around Alameda County's foster-care system is paying dividends, reducing the number of kids in the program while providing more help to older teens as they make the transition to adulthood. On the heels of hiring about 50 social workers and opening a new community center last month, Alameda is preparing a job-placement program for some of its foster-care kids who have become too old for the system. The new program is part of an expansion that began in 2007 when the county started to overhaul the operation by questioning established ways foster care operates.

OH Budget Proposal Bridges Gap from Foster Care to Adulthood
Public News Service, Columbus, OH – June 7, 2011
More than $2 million could help Ohio's foster youth find their way in the "real world," but only if the state Senate budget passes. Lawmakers are proposing the additional funding for programs that assist teens as they transition out of foster care and learn to live as independent adults.

Foster kids get a special high school graduation ceremony
The Miami Herald, Miami-Dade County, FL – June 12, 2011
High school graduation is a day most people will always remember. But on Saturday, about 70 foster children celebrated more than just this rite of passage; they were honored by their case workers, child advocates and child welfare agencies for the adversities they’ve overcome. “We let the kids know how important it is to celebrate their achievements,” said Fran Allegra, CEO for Our Kids, a private nonprofit agency responsible for overseeing foster care services in Miami-Dade County and the Keys.

Teen Pregnancy

Hickenlooper signs bill extending teen pregnancy prevention program, Colorado – June 9, 2011
Pregnant teenagers in Colorado will continue to get help from the state thanks to a bill signed by Gov. John Hickenlooper that extends and expands a teen pregnancy and dropout prevention program. The bi-partisan bill signed this week by Hickenlooper (SB11-177) builds upon an existing program begun in 1995, the Medicaid Teen Pregnancy Prevention Program, that is aimed at reducing the incidence of teen pregnancy high school dropout rates and “promoting self-sufficiency, self-reliance, and a sense of personal responsibility in making appropriate family planning decisions” among at-risk teens and teen parents.

CASA holds seminar for at risk teen girls
Fox 31, Albany, GA – June 10, 2011
A group of at-risk teenage girls got some special attention and motivation Friday.  Dougherty County Court Appointed Special Advocates (CASA) held a seminar at the Albany police department, aimed at getting the girls to see themselves in a positive light.  They say many of the girls are battling issues like teen pregnancy and low self esteem.

Group strives to change negative influences with positive deeds, Jacksonville, NC – June 12, 2011
A group of Jacksonville teens are coming together to provide an outlet for youth who want to change their community, one project at a time. The North Carolina chapter of Youth in Action was founded last year by 15-year-old Ashanti Curry, an actively involved sophomore at Northside High School. Underage drinking and smoking, bullying and teen pregnancy are just some of the issues that Youth in Action want to address through a variety of monthly projects and activities.

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