Monday, January 30, 2012

This Week's News: Youth in Transition


Obama Wades Into Issue of Raising Dropout Age
The New York Times – January 25, 2012
President Obama’s State of the Union call for every state to require students to stay in school until they turn 18 is Washington’s first direct involvement in an issue that many governors and state legislators have found tough to address.

Illinois may change high school dropout age
CBS 4, Illinois – January 28, 2012
Illinois parents, listen up.  Soon your high schoolers may get extra help reaching their graduation goals.  Lawmakers said raising the minimum dropout age could make a difference.  Governor Pat Quinn said he's answering President Barack Obama's call to encourage high school students to get their diploma by the time they turn 18.  They both said when kids aren't allowed to walk away from learning, they're more likely to graduate.  

Principal on a mission to get dropouts back in school
Las Vegas Sun, Las Vegas, NV – January 29, 2012
This is another in a yearlong series of stories tracking Clark County School District’s efforts to turn around five failing schools.  Neddy Alvarez nervously eyes two parked police cruisers as she drives down Lorna Place in the central Las Vegas Valley.

Juvenile Justice

This house is going places
The State, South Carolina – January 24, 2012
Chants of “lift that house” echoed from the S.C. Department of Juvenile Justice’s Broad River Road complex Monday morning as the agency closed the first chapter of its first Habitat House build.  DJJ youth last month began framing the house inside the facility, and several hundred onlookers watched Monday as it was lifted over the fence en route to its permanent location in Richland County.

Department of Justice, MacArthur Foundation Provide $2 Million To Support Juvenile Justice Reform
The Sacramento Bee, Washington, DC – January 26, 2012
In a new private-public partnership, the U.S. Department of Justice's Office of Juvenile Justice and Delinquency Prevention (OJJDP) and the John D. and Catherine T. MacArthur Foundation are jointly providing $2 million to support innovative and effective reforms in treatment and services for youth involved in the juvenile justice and child welfare systems.

State’s Juvenile Justice System Needs Overhaul, Says Chief Justice of Georgia’s Supreme Court
Juvenile Justice Information Exchange, Georgia – January 25, 2012
At Wednesday’s annual State of the Judiciary Address, Georgia’s Supreme Court Chief Justice Carol Hunstein urged lawmakers to overhaul the state’s juvenile justice system, asking legislators to support more rehabilitative services for youth as opposed to incarceration of juvenile offenders.

Foster Care

Children's Home Society launches work study program for foster care teens
Naples News, Florida – January 25, 2012
As part of their Independent Living Program, Children’s Home Society is partnering with Southwest Florida businesses to enable foster care teens to gain real work experience and important life skills as they prepare to join the work force and establish lives of their own.

Foster care transition produces results at Casa Valentina
The Miami Herald, Florida – January 27, 2012
"When I was your age . . .”  Admit it. We’ve all said it to someone younger. It assumes a certain common experience. I remember being excited and nervous about going away to college — a transition shared by many.  Those facing their 18th birthday in foster care have a very different experience. These children, because that’s really what they are, face their 18th birthday with the knowledge that on that day they will be on their own.  As the new executive director of Casa Valentina, and a former supervising attorney for the Guardian Ad Litem Program, I have seen the disparity in my experience and that of these youth.

Teen Pregnancy

Diligent community efforts turn tide on teen pregnancy
Herald-Journal, South Carolina – January 29, 2012
Changing the trajectory of a community problem can leave a community feeling overwhelmed — tired, resigned, looking for something easier to tackle. The incremental nature of community change is as frustrating as it is inevitable. We become so accustomed to the way things are that we lose hope that they can ever be different.  Occasionally, however, rapid and positive shifts occur.

Bryant calls for strategy to curb teen pregnancies
The Clarion-Ledger, Mississippi – January 23, 2012
Gov. Phil Bryant is giving newly appointed Department of Human Services executive director Rickey Berry 30 days to come up with a plan to reduce teen pregnancy in Mississippi.  Bryant is expected to make the announcement in today's State of the State address.

RI group unveils plan to reduce teen pregnancy
NBC 10, Rhode Island – January 25, 2012
A Rhode Island organization released a statewide plan Wednesday to reduce teen pregnancy.  The Rhode Island Alliance, a statewide coalition, released details at the Rhode Island Department of Health, and followed with a panel discussion.  Dr. Patricia Flanagan, Rhode Island Alliance chairwoman and chief of clinical affairs at Hasbro Children's Hospital, said one part of the plan is to focus more on 18- and 19-year-olds.

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