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.