Monday, February 13, 2012

This Week's News: Youth in Transition


New Program Offers High School Dropouts A Second Chance
CBS Chicago, Chicago, IL – February 9, 2012
Traditional classrooms didn’t work for them, but hundreds of high school dropouts are now getting their diplomas a new way – on their terms.

New pathway for at-risk city high school students
Democrat and Chronicle, Rochester, NY – February 11, 2012
Too many of our high school students are not engaged in school. We see it in our graduation rates, our state test scores, our SAT and our GPA results. For example, we have 900 students in our phase-out high schools that are scheduled to close who are so-called “over-age and under-credited.” If we do not take immediate action they will more than likely drop out of school.

Dropout rates fall across the state
The MetroWest Daily News, Massachusetts – February 11, 2012
A report released by the state yesterday revealed good news about school dropouts, with rates in Massachusetts the lowest they’ve been in two decades.

Juvenile Justice

Legislature Considers Raising Juvenile Justice Age
WBUR 90.0, Boston, MA – February 8, 2012
Massachusetts is one of 13 states where criminal cases involving 17-year-olds are handled in the adult justice system rather than juvenile justice system. But youth advocates are pressing state lawmakers to change that and keep offenders in the juvenile system until they’re 18.

House approves task force to overhaul juvenile code, decrease jailing for 'status offenses'
The Republic, Frankfort, KY – February 11, 2012
Kentucky lawmakers in the House on Friday approved a measure to create a task force to rewrite the state's juvenile code.  Sponsor Rep. John Tilley told The Courier-Journal the goal is to update the law in ways that improve juvenile justice.

Foster Care

Hollywood facility helps those who have aged out of foster care
Sun Sentinel, Hollywood, FL – February 10, 2012
They are often homeless or couch surfers — young men who sleep on one friend's sofa one night and another on the next.  These are young men who have aged out of the foster care system and often have nowhere else to turn. But one place to call home is Wilson Gardens, which recently received $30,000 in funding from the Jim Moran Foundation.

Foster care gap: State will tap federal funds to aid youths ages 18-21
Detroit Free Press, Detroit, MI – February 8, 2012
Lamar Waller of Detroit has his GED certificate, a part-time job and plans for the future. But the young man, who aged out of the foster care system in January, also has a growing pile of debt no matter how much he works and saves.  Soon, Michigan will tap into federal funds that will extend support to young adults such as Waller until their 21st birthdays.

Bill would give alternative to foster care
Statesman Journal, Oregon – February 11, 2012
Jim Seymour believes that children should be raised by a community, not government. But currently, the latter is the case for a small group of children in the foster care system.  Seymour, executive director of Catholic Community Services, estimates about 3 to 5 percent of Oregon's foster youths are raised by the state.

Teen Pregnancy

Teen pregnancy rates reach 'dramatic' 40-year low in U.S.
Fox News – February 8, 2012
Teen pregnancy rates in the U.S. have dropped to a 40-year low, according to a study released Wednesday.  The Guttmacher Institute, a non-profit sexual health research group that favors abortion rights, found the rate of pregnancies among 15- to 19-year-olds has declined 42 percent from its peak 22 years ago.

Billboards boast Not Right Now, Put Pregnancy on Pause
NBC WMBF News, Myrtle Beach, SC – February 8, 2012
Recently, South Carolina received good news related to teen pregnancy prevention.  Data shows that teen birth rates in SC have dropped 13% from 2009 to 2010.  This decline should be celebrated by young people and the adults who care about them and proves that we are winning the battle in South Carolina.  However, an in-depth look at the numbers is a stark reminder of the work that remains.

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