Monday, July 11, 2011

This Week's News: Youth in Transition


CFCC concerned about school system dropout program

6WECT TV, New Hanover County, NC – July 7, 2011
House Bill 822 allowed New Hanover County Schools to pioneer a new dropout recovery program, which now has Cape Fear Community College concerned.  The Dropout Recovery Pilot Program was co-sponsored by Representative Susi Hamilton in an effort to reach the segment of students who had already separated from the school system.  NHCS would put out a request-for-proposal for an outside agency (profit or non-profit) to run a non-traditional diploma-based program for dropouts. Students would be enrolled with the school system and would no longer be labeled dropouts, thereby improving the school system's rate.

High school drop-out prevention starts early
The Westerly Sun, Rhode Island – July 5, 2011
Local school districts are working to identify and support students as young as elementary-age who may be at risk of not graduating from high school.  Westerly and Chariho Regional School District practices fall in line with recommendations made last week by Rhode Island Kids Count, a nonprofit children's policy and advocacy organization.

Valley program helps high school dropouts go to college
Action 4 News, Texas – July 7, 2011
Vanessa Flores and her mother Mary Sandoval have been through a lot together.  "I know I'm very blessed and she's a good person," said Sandoval.  During her freshman year, Vanessa contracted H-1-N-1 virus, then meningitis and her mother suffered a stroke.  "So I missed a lot of schooling and I've been in 10th grade for the past three years," said Vanessa.  Not only did Vanessa have to miss school to recover from her illnesses, but also to take care of her mother.  "She's done so much for me, and now its time for her. She needs to catch up on her schoolwork," said Sandoval.

Juvenile Justice

Keeping Kids Outside the System: Alternatives to juvenile detention are cheaper and more effective
Hawaii Reporter, Florida – July 5, 2011
Rashad never took his eyes off his mother. While his public defender questioned him, Rashad clenched and unclenched his hands, answering in staccato bursts, his large brown eyes imploring or challenging his mother, who returned his stare from the front row of the courtroom. A cheaper and more effective approach than arresting Rashad would have been referring him to Family Resources, a Pinellas County, Florida, shelter for runaway and homeless youth that also provides family counseling and an alternative respite from violent domestic disputes.

State treating some teen offenders as juveniles now and not adults
Northwest Herald, Illinois – July 5, 2011
A state law placing 17-year-olds charged with misdemeanors under the juvenile court system makes legal sense to local defense attorney Matt Haiduk.  Considering that a 17-year-old is not old enough to vote, buy cigarettes and alcohol or even agree to a plea agreement without a parent or guardian's permission, the statute needed an update.

Foster Care

Grant helps foster children stay in homes
Reporter Herald, Fort Collins, CO – July 6, 2011
The Fort Collins Housing Authority is providing the ruby red slippers that foster care youths need to find a place to call home.   For the first time, the housing authority is administering 50 federally funded housing choice vouchers with the aim of providing stable housing for youths receiving foster care. Their purpose is to reunite foster children with their families and to prevent young adults ages 18-21 who are "aging out" of the foster care system from becoming homeless.

Programs Aim At Keeping Kids In Stable Homes
OPB News, Oregon – July 7, 2011
Kids in Oregon are twice as likely as children nationwide to be placed in foster care. And child advocates say that's a problem.  Mainly because national statistics on the success of foster kids aren't good -- a quarter have been homeless at least once by age 23, and almost half have been on food stamps by the same age. In Oregon, several new programs have been set up to keep children in stable family homes.

Jasmine Winters, 18, is outgrowing foster care, but is leaving with family-like support network
The Patriot-News – July 7, 2011
She was almost 19. A senior in high school. Foster care would end.  She would have no home to go to on college breaks. No relatives to visit on Thanksgiving.  Jasmine Winters would be on her own.  Unless she could spin a new family from the broken threads of relationships in her past. She started weaving that network last year, reaching out to family and friends with help from her Dauphin County caseworkers.

Teen Pregnancy

Grant Will Aid City's Effort To Prevent Teen Pregnancy
Hartford Courant, Connecticut – July 2, 2011
Connecticut has one of the lowest rates of teen pregnancy in the country, for which all should be thankful. But the state numbers can mask the fact that in some urban areas, notably Hartford, the problem is still rampant. The city has received a five-year, $4.5 million grant from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention to ramp up its efforts to curb teen pregnancy. Four agencies will work together on the project.

Reducing teen pregnancy is a priority for all of us
Gaston Gazette, Gaston County, NC – July 3, 2011
One of the things you accept when you become a health director is that it’s fairly easy to get everyone to agree on problems, but getting everyone to agree on solutions is another story. Case in point—a lot of people here in my hometown know teen pregnancy is a problem, and many are passionate about finding a solution. However, opinions vary as to what approach we should take.  Lately, there has been a great deal of discussion about Gaston Youth Connected, a new teen pregnancy prevention initiative in Gaston County. I felt this would be a great opportunity to talk about our teen pregnancy issues, the role of the health department in reducing teen pregnancy, and the goals of the Gaston Youth Connected (GYC) initiative.

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