Monday, December 26, 2011

This Week's News: Youth in Transition


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, 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.

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