Monday, August 20, 2012

This Week's News: Youth in Transition


High school dropouts get a second chance in Camden County, Lansing, MI – August 17, 2012
The Capital City is home to one of the worst high school dropout rates in Michigan, but a potential charter school could help remedy that.  The Lansing school board on Thursday unanimously approved a request from BCFI to send a letter to the Michigan Department of Education expressing interest in becoming an authorizer for the BCFI Empowerment Academy, a charter school.

One More Time: Yes, College Is Worth It
Time – August 16, 2012
A new study from Georgetown University’s Center on Education and the Workforce finds that a college degree is indeed the best defense against unemployment. “It’s a tough job market for college graduates,” the report says, “but far worse for those without a college education.”

Montgomery educator reaches out with house calls, Montgomery, MD – August 15, 2012
It was the day after the Hughes family’s vacation, and Scott and Lisa Hughes and their sons were relaxing in their Derwood home.  Their oldest child, Jake, who is about to begin eighth grade at Shady Grove Middle School, paced around the living room.  His principal, Edward Owusu, was on his way.

Juvenile Justice

Kids Behind Bars: Illinois Rethinks Juvenile Justice
NPR, Chicago, IL – August 18, 2012
A damning report from the Illinois Juvenile Justice Commission called the state youth prison system an expensive failure. Its study showed that "well over 50 percent of youth" leaving the state's facilities will go back to juvenile facilities — and others will head to adult corrections system.  Some of the juveniles in Illinois' system committed serious offenses, the report shows. But many others are there for lesser crimes and, officials say, would be better served in treatment or educational programs.

Juvenile offender program working
Tampa Bay Online, Tampa, FL – August 17, 2012
A program to keep first-time juvenile offenders out of Hillsborough County's criminal justice system recorded a 91 percent success rate after one year, county commissioners learned Thursday.

Report: Juvenile detention population down
WVUE Fox8, Baton Rouge, LA – August 14, 2012
A report by Louisiana State University on the current status of the juvenile justice system has concluded multiple parishes have seen a decline in the number of youths detained over the past five years.  The study concludes that the decreases are thanks to needs assessment tools helping probation officers develop case plans specific to a person's individual needs.

Foster Care

State's Ready by 21 prepares foster youth for life
The Baltimore Sun, Maryland – August 19, 2012
Shalita O'Neale approached her 21st birthday with more dread than enthusiasm. Reaching the milestone meant she would officially age out of the state's foster care system.  Nine years later, she is a college graduate established in a career with a home and family of her own. But she understands the desperation that comes with severing ties to a system that has filled in for absentee parents.
She has become a strong proponent of a new state initiative, known as Ready by 21.

Help for Fla foster youth after they leave system
The Miami Herald, Tallahassee, FL – August 16, 2012
State child welfare officials are overhauling a program that helps teens as they age out of foster care.  Department of Children and Families Secretary David Wilkins on Wednesday appointed 12 people to the newly reassembled Independent Living Services Advisory Council.

A Next Step for Foster Kids
The Wall Street Journal, New York, NY – August 19, 2012
What happens when a young person ages out of the foster-care system?  For five New Yorkers in particular the plans are divergent, yet familiar. One young woman wants to become a script supervisor. Another wants to be a doctor. Two young mothers want help finding housing and assistance earning a GED. And a young man wants to pursue his dream of developing video games.  Beginning Aug. 20, they and some 45 others from around the country will be able to post their aspirations online and raise money and support through the newly launched Camellia Network.

Teen Pregnancy

Teen Pregnancy Declines, But U.S. Still Lags
NPR, Washington, D.C. – August 19, 2012
The U.S. teen pregnancy rate is the highest in the developed world. In 2008, nearly 7 percent of girls between ages of 15 and 19 became pregnant. But there's good news: The numbers have been going down for a few decades, hitting a 42-percent drop by 2008. The decline occurred across all races — though blacks and Latinos continued to have higher numbers.  The dramatic decline is a huge success for those who have worked to prevent teen pregnancy, but there's still much work ahead.

Jackson County Officials Work to Decrease Pregnancy Rates among Latina Teens
The Lund Report, Jackson County, OR – August 16, 2012
Jackson County has the tenth highest teen pregnancy rate in Oregon – and a disproportionately high teen pregnancy rate among Latina girls.  Even more disconcerting, said Maggie Sullivan, program manager for the Health Care Coalition of Southern Oregon, was the age of some of the girls. She was working at a Planned Parenthood clinic in Jackson County when she and several other health officials conferred, and noticed a high number of middle school-aged Latina girls coming into community clinics requesting pregnancy tests.  Health officials started by holding a health fair called La Salud de Mi Hija (Spanish for “my daughter's health) for Latino families.

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