Wednesday, June 17, 2009

Impact of Recession on Children

The Foundation for Child Development has released a report on the impact of the current economic recession on children.

They project that the percentage of children living in poverty is expected to reach 21 percent by 2010, and that many gains in family economic well-being since 1975 will be eliminated.

Graph from Center on Budget and Policy Priorities

Meanwhile, First Focus reports that, for the past five years, only one penny of every new, real non-defense dollar spent by the federal government has gone to children and children’s programs.

Timeline of Federal Child Welfare Legislation

Major Federal Legislation Concerned With Child Protection, Child Welfare, and Adoption, Child Welfare Information Gateway, 2009

Source: Child Welfare Information Gateway

Tuesday, June 16, 2009

Engaging Former Foster Children in Current Child Welfare Policy

As recently recognized by the Ohio Child Welfare Training Program, former foster children can be engaged to generate positive change within the child welfare system in the following ways:

Foster Care Alumni as Consultants
• As work team members
• At state committee meetings
• At special events (i.e. conferences)
• As a regular featured column in child welfare publications
• As co-interviewers of selected trainers
• As observers of trainers
• As experts to provide technical assistance to trainers
• As curriculum content experts

Foster Care Alumni as Trainers
• As trainers – (age 18+ and no longer in the custody of children services)
• As co-trainers – (age 18+ and no longer in the custody of children services)
• As panel presenters in workshops
• As guest speakers in the training room
• In media (video-clips, distance learning, GoToMeetings)

Foster Care Alumni as Curriculum Developers
• As content experts
• As contributors/authors

Top Five Online Resources for Youth Aging Out of Foster Care

1.) Foster Care Alumni of America's mission is to connect the alumni community and to transform policy and practice, ensuring opportunity for people in and from foster care:

2.) FosterClub provides online networking and the opportunity to apply to become an All-Stars, and travel the country inspiring their younger peers and infusing youth perspective into the child welfare system:

3.) The National Independent Living Association is committed to enhancing the futures of young people by promoting quality services including technical assistance, youth advocacy, and support mechanisms to assist youth who are making the transition into adulthood:

*Please note: Now that the Casey It's My Life conference is on hiatus, the annual NILA conference is the primary conference that facilitates interaction between foster care youth, foster care alumni and child welfare professionals this year.

4.) Orphan Foundation of America is the country’s leading provider of scholarships for foster youth pursuing higher education. They have a virtual mentoring program to support students seeking higher ed:

5.) Youth Communication helps teenagers develop their skills in reading, writing, thinking, and reflection, so they can acquire the information they need to make thoughtful choices about their lives:

Monday, June 15, 2009

Lisa, where have you been?

Frequently Asked Question: "Lisa, where have you been? Why haven't you updated your blog lately?"

Answer: "I am in advocacy overdrive, because during a recession, foster care funding and supports are the first things to go!"