Monday, July 26, 2010

5.7 million US children live on $8 per day or less.

The children who live in extreme poverty are not equally distributed across the country, but are instead concentrated in the Southern States. In fact, according to a new report by The Southern Education Foundation, 42% of the children living in extreme poverty are found in 15 southern states. "One child out of every 11 in the South suffered the nation’s deepest levels of poverty."  The report goes on to examine the impact of extreme poverty on the education of children. They found that school districts with an extreme poverty rate of 10% or more had a median rate of student proficiency of 68%, while school districts with an extreme poverty rate of 5% or less had a median rate of student proficiency of 78% or greater. The connection between poverty and low academic achievement has long been known.  This report underscores the depth of the problem in the Southern States. Policymakers in those states may want to consider policies to reduce child poverty as part of their overall education reform efforts.

For more on state policies to reduce child poverty and to increase early academic achievement.

Friday, July 23, 2010

State Legislation to Implement Fostering Connections

The American Bar Association Center on Children and the Law, CLASP, Children’s Defense Fund and the Juvenile Law Center drafted Sample State Legislation to Extend Foster Care, Adoption and Guardianship Protections, Services and Payments to Young Adults age 18 and Older. This resource can help state policymakers, administrators and advocates support and develop legislation to extend care and services to young adults after they turn 18, and to strengthen state efforts to connect all children with permanent families.

As states consider, or continue, efforts to take advantage of the Foster Connections to Success and Increasing Adoption Act, policymakers can use this resource to draft new legislation or as an aid in evaluating current or pending laws regarding state foster care.

For more on permanency and building strong and stable families.

Visit our homepage to sign-up for e-mail updated on results-based policy regarding youth in transition- coming soon!

Monday, July 19, 2010

An Event: Child Abuse Prevention in Tough Economic Times

The Future of Children, a joint project between Princeton University and the Brookings Institution, will hold an event in partnership with Voices for America’s Children on July 20th, Preventing Child Abuse in an Age of Budget Deficits. The event will discuss the ways that prevention programs are fiscally responsible; leading to reduced spending on a number of social programs. The event will include a panel of experts and practitioners including Ron Haskins of the Brookings Institution, Rev. Darrell Armstrong from the Institute for Clergy Training, and Richard Barth, Dean of the University Of Maryland School Of Social Work, among others. The panel will discuss both the practices and research that have proven effective in preventing child abuse while leading to decreased spending. The panel will also address ways that prevention services can be expanded even in the current economic climate.

Providing families with the preventative supports and services that they need, and detecting those needs early-on, will better serve families while also saving public dollars by preventing costly measures taken in the future, such as removing a child from their parent’s care. Preserving family relationships and creating budget-friendly policy through prevention efforts should be a win-win option for policymakers in touch economic times.

To attend this event or the accompanying webcast.

For information on supporting families and reducing incidences of child abuse and neglect visit Strengthening Families.

For more on Building Strong and Stable Families.

Friday, July 16, 2010

Key Funding Opportunites for Communities in the Health Care Reform Act

The Center for the Study of Social Policy (CSSP) has created a summary of some of the key provisions from the Patient and Affordable Care Act. Specifically, the summary focuses on four areas which are the most critical for children and families: School Based Health Centers, Community Based Health Centers, Health Workers, and Home Visiting. Although much of this funding will be disbursed directly to States, communities still have an opportunity to influence the use of federal dollars at the local level by strengthening and building upon existing community partnerships and by lifting up the experiences, needs, and capacity of local organizations and community residents.

Cross-posted from the Financing Community Change Blog by: Aysha Gregory

Monday, July 12, 2010

Childhood Poverty and Adult Outcomes: A New Resource from The Urban Institute

In order to use data effectively – it is critical to look at the context in which the data exists. Looking at the child poverty rate – only provides point-in-time data on how many children are currently living in poverty. While this is incredibly important information, it doesn’t tell us how many children experience poverty in their lifetimes, or the effect that poverty has on life outcomes.

A new report, Childhood Poverty Persistence: Facts and Consequences, authored by
Caroline Ratcliffe and Signe-Mary McKernan of The Urban Institute, connects child poverty to outcomes in adulthood. The researchers examined the incidence and duration of poverty (for all children and then separately by race) and the outcomes for the same children at ages 25 to 30.

Using the University of Michigan’s Panel Study of Income Dynamics, the “study finds that 49 percent of children who are poor at birth go on to spend at least half their childhoods living in poverty. In addition, children who are born into poverty and spend multiple years living in poor families have worse adult outcomes than their counterparts in higher-income families”.

For policies to reduce child poverty.

Friday, July 9, 2010

Supporting and Strengthening Families

recent report from the US Department of Housing and Urban Development reveals that, although homelessness has declined overall, the number of homeless households, or families that are have been homeless in the last year, has increased by 7%.

As more and more families struggle with a scarcity of resources, formal and informal systes of support that fill in the gaps are more important than ever. By intentionally focusing on building Protective Factors for families, including Concrete Support in Times of Need, the people that surround children and families can minimize the stress and insecurity they face and mitigate their potentially negative impacts on children. Because chronic stress and trauma are particularly harmful to very young children, special attention should be paid to supporting families with the youngest children.

Strengthening Families offers many low-cost and no-cost strategies to build Protective Factors with families of young children that can be implemented in a broad spectrum of settings and supported by smart policies at the local, state, and federal levels.

For state policies to reduce poverty and support vulnerable families.

Cross-posted from the Strengthening Families blog by: Kate Stepleton

Wednesday, July 7, 2010

Placement Stability: A New Resource from the University of Minnesota

The Center for Advanced Studies in Child Welfare at the University of Minnesota's School of Social Work produces an annual publication called CW360 . Each edition of the journal takes a comprehensive look at one prevalent issue in child welfare in order to provide communities, child welfare professionals and others in the human services the latest research in one key area affecting child well-being. The spring 2010 edition is on promoting placement stability for children and youth in out-of-home-care.

The journal is divided into three sections; overview, practice, and collaborations and perspectives. The overview section includes articles on the research supporting placement stability as well as articles on related federal policy. The practice section includes articles about evidence-based and promising practice in achieving placement stability. The final section, on collaboration and perspectives, includes articles written by child welfare stakeholders and includes the perspectives of professionals, families and children. This issue also includes quotes from four teens that were provided through interviews conducted by Family Alternatives.

For policymakers considering policy initiatives aimed at placement stability this journal is a great resource.

Visit our homepage to sign-up for e-mail updated on results-based child welfare policy - coming soon!

For policies on Building Strong and Stable Families.