Thursday, December 30, 2010

Health Insurance Premiums Rise Faster than Wages

According to the latest Commonwealth Fund report:
  • Premiums for employer-sponsored family health insurance increased an average of 41 percent across states from 2003 to 2009, more than three times faster than median incomes. 
  • Yet,insurance is paying for less. The analysis found that deductibles per person rose 77 percent on average. 
Their conclusion was:
  • If these trends continue at the rate prior to enactment of the Affordable Care Act, the average premium for family coverage will rise 79 percent by 2020, to more than $23,000. 
  • If reforms succeed in slowing premium growth by 1 percentage point annually in all states, by 2020 employers and families together will save $2,323 annually for family coverage, compared with projected trends.

Learn more about YOUR state by checking out their Interactive Map.

Source: C. Schoen, K. Stremikis, S. K. H. How, and S. R. Collins, State Trends in Premiums and Deductibles, 2003–2009: How Building on the Affordable Care Act Will Help Stem the Tide of Rising Costs and Eroding Benefits, The Commonwealth Fund, December 2010.

Tuesday, December 28, 2010

How Much Does It Cost Us NOT to Invest in Emancipating Foster Care Youth?

Cost Avoidance by Investing in Transitional Foster Care Youth

A cost analysis by Cutler Consulting in 2009 estimated that the involvement of former foster youth in the criminal justice system costs in excess of $4 billion over the lifetime of each annual cohort of youth exiting foster care.

The cost associated with a higher than average pregnancy rate for youth aging out of foster care is 15 years X $7,708,490 (the cost per year) = $115,627,350 for each cohort year.

Raising the graduation rate of one year’s cohort of youth aging out of foster care to the national average would result in increased earnings and lowered public costs of more than $1 billion.

Source: Cost Avoidance Bolstering the Economic Case for Investing In Youth Aging Out of Foster Care. Cutler Consulting, 2009.

States Can Achieve Better Outcomes, Lower Costs by Supporting Youth Transitioning From Foster Care to Adulthood

The NGA Center for Best Practices is the nation’s only dedicated consulting firm for governors and their key policy staff.

Their recently released report, The Transition to Adulthood: How States Can Support Older Youth in Foster Care (December 2010), explores the following strategies:
  • Promoting educational attainment
  • Connecting youth with employment and career training
  • Enhancing access to safe and stable housing
  • Helping youth access and manage health care
  • Helping youth build stable, lifelong relationships
As NGA Director John Thomasian states, "Because states continue to face austere budget conditions, many of the strategies described in this report have little or no cost; involve getting existing systems, such as education and health, to work more collaboratively; and leverage available federal and private funding in new or different ways."

This report demonstrates that successful state supports not only improve the outcomes for foster youth, but reduce costs to states that result from negative outcomes such as criminality, low educational attainment, lack of medical insurance, homelessness and an increased need for public assistance like food stamps.

Thursday, December 23, 2010

Standing On Shaky Ground

The recession of 2008 and early 2009 took an economic toll on 93 percent of American households, according to a new report from the Rockefeller Foundation and Yale University, the first to detail how economic insecurity affects the well-being of Americans.

The Worst of Times: Increase in Extreme Poverty from 2008-2009

A new Southern Foundation study, The Worst of Times: Extreme Poverty in the United States in 2009, reveals that:
  • Americans living in extreme poverty (below 50 percent of the official poverty threshold) were the fastest growing income group in America last year.
  • In 2009, 18.8 million people, including nearly 6.5 million children, were living in households with income below 50 percent of the poverty threshold.
  • Half of the additional 2.1 million persons who fell into extreme poverty in 2009 resided in only seven states: Texas, California, Florida, Georgia, North Carolina, New York, and Ohio.
  • Between 2008-2009, the number of persons in extreme poverty in Ohio increased with an additional 87,420 people.

In the meantime, the Republican members of the House of Representatives have proposed cutting this fiscal year’s non-defense discretionary spending back to 2008 levels and also rescinding any unspent American Recovery and Reinvestment Act (ARRA) money.

My Christmas Wish

Kids shoudn't have to live on the street. Help us bring them inside. Donate.

Covenant House was founded 38 years ago with the mission to help homeless teens and young adults get off the street and into productive lives.

They serve as a refuge to:
  • young people who are running from abuse at home
  • youth who've been kicked out of the house (often because of their sexual orientation)
  • young people who "age out" of the foster care system at age 18 and face the adult world alone.
Covenant House connects these young people with:
  • Shelter, including a transitional housing program
  • Access to medical care
  • Coaching in basic life skills 
  • Opportunities to finish high school
  • Resources for job skill development
Staff work with youth on developing a long-term plan for their lives.

Covenant House's Transitional Housing Program: Youth pay rent to Covenant House for their apartment, and after 12-18 months when they graduate from the program, they are given ALL of their rent to help them to put a deposit on an apartment and set up a household.

My Christmas wish: No kid sleeping on the street this winter. Can you help Covenant House make it real? Donate.

Tuesday, December 21, 2010

2010 UNICEF Report on The Children Left Behind

UNICEF's new report, The Children Left Behind, reveals that the United States ranks among the worst of 24 of the world’s richest nations when it comes to child well-being.

To quote from Nelson Mandela, former president of South Africa, "There can be no keener revelation of a society's soul than the way in which it treats its children."

Quotes from the report:
  • Using gross (pre-tax) household income, the income available to the child at the 10th percentile in the United States is approximately 70% below the income available to a child at the median.
  • The heaviest costs are paid by the individual child. But the long list of problems cited above also translates into significant costs for society as a whole. 
  • Unnecessary bottom-end inequality prepares a bill which is quickly presented to taxpayers in the form of increased strain on health and hospital services, on remedial schooling, on welfare and social protection programmes, and on the police and the courts.

Saturday, December 18, 2010

Jesus, Stephen Colbert, and Helping the Poor in 2011

Quotes from Stephen Colbert in response to recent comments by Bill O'Reilly regarding exactly what society owes to the have-nots:
  • "What I like best about Bill's  argument is its complete factual inaccuracy. Because it would be inconvenient for guys like us to repeat what Jesus actually said."
  • "For instance, if someone wants your coat, give them your cloak as well. Rich people should sell all their possessions and give the money to the poor. Plus, the fact is, Jesus was WAY beyond self-destructive; he was SELF-SACRIFICIAL."
  • "Plus, Jesus was always flapping his gums about the poor - but not once did he call for tax cuts for the wealthiest two percent of Romans."
  • "And don't forget - Jesus hung out with tax collectors and prostitutes - and no good Conservative would be caught dead with tax collectors."
  • "What really frightens me about this is now we've got a liberal Jesus seated at the right hand of the Father...
  • "Because if this is gonna be a Christian nation that DOESN'T help the poor, either we've got to pretend that Jesus is just as selfish as we are, or we've got to acknowledge that he commanded us to love the poor and serve the needy without condition - then admit that we just don't want to do it."

Monday, December 13, 2010

College Success After Foster Care

Speaking as a former foster child myself, there are many myths, misconceptions and misinformation regarding former foster youth and our pursuit of college.

Myth #1: Former foster youth can afford any college we want.

FALSE. Enrolling in college and succeeding in college are two different things.

In order to actually graduate from college, we've got to think about the cost of college textbooks, transportation, and where we are going to live.

It's important for every emancipated foster care youth to know how to apply for ETV funds, and how to fill out the FAFSA as an independent student.

But the journey doesn't end there. It's only just beginning...

There is rent to pay and there are textbooks to purchase. There can be unexpected crises, like health problems, and delays in receiving ETV funds. If you decide to invest in a car, you'll have to worry about insurance, gas and, sooner or later, car repair.

Here are some things that worked for me when I was in college:
  • Applying for grants and scholarships, but trying to avoid loans
  • When I received my refund check, I immediately used the money to pay for books and, whenever possible, I paid my rent three months ahead of time
  • I didn't own a car during college and grad school, because it's tough to afford both a car and an apartment at the same time when you lack family support. Many of the young people I know have been forced to choose between one or the other.
  • Building a relationship with Financial Aid staff so that they knew me by name.
Additional Resources:
  • Reduced price textbooks available at
  • Contacting the county you "aged out" of to see if they offer any aftercare services
  • Emancipated foster care youth in Ohio are eligible for Medicaid until age 21 (but it's a battle to actually access it)

I think there's room to partner with the faith community on this issue:
  • UK Wesley Foundation: A Methodist dorm that waited until I was able to pay rent, rather than kicking me out when I had a rough semester and lots of medical issues (and yes, I paid all my rent as soon as I could)
  • FCAA Ohio chapter met with the Cincinnati faith community in March 2010, to ask if churches might be willing to invest in helping emancipated foster care youth in pursuit of college with the cost of textbooks (no progress in moving this forward yet...)

Here in Ohio, we have a statewide initiative to increase the number of foster care youth who enroll in and graduate from college, called Ohio Reach:

Inviting YOU to share YOUR insights about this issue....

Saturday, December 11, 2010

2025 Vision for African American Males

The 2025 Campaign for Black Men and Boys today has released a new report, We Dream A World: The 2025 Vision for Black Men and Boys with recommendations aimed at drastically altering life outcomes for black men and boys.

Among this report's fundings...
  • African  American men are less likely to be working than any other demographic in the United States
  • African American men between ages 16-24 fare the worst
  • The time between ages 16-24 often established a person's earning trajectory for a lifetime.
     Barriers to Attaining Employment:
    • At every educational level, African American males are less likely to be employed and earn less than their Caucasian peers.
    • Caucasians with comparable  credentials were 50% more likely to receive calls from prospective employers.
    • Research by the University of Chicago indicates that having an ethnic-sounding name is a job interview deterrent.

    Thursday, December 09, 2010

    Multi-State Study on Psychotropic Medication in Foster Care

    According to the Tufts Clinical and Translational Science Institute:
    • Psychotropic medication use in youth has increased significantly over the past decade
    • Rates of use are much higher for youth in foster care (estimated between 13 and 52 percent) than for youth in the general population (4 percent).
    In an effort to address this trend, Tufts researchers surveyed key staff in State child welfare and affiliated agencies between March 2009 and January 2010 to gather current policies and guidelines on psychotropic medication use in foster care and examine challenges and innovative solutions implemented by States.

    The results have been published in a new report,Multi-State Study on Psychotropic Medication Oversight in Foster Care.

    Tuesday, December 07, 2010

    Upside Down: 53% of Tax Benefits Go to Most Wealthy

    The federal government spent nearly $400 billion in 2009 on policies that help our nation's wealthiest individuals buy homes, save money, start businesses, pay for college and retire comfortably, while doing little to help working families who most need the financial cushion.

    According to Upside Down: The $400 Billion Dollar Asset-Building Budget, a report by the Corporation for Enterprise Development and the Annie E. Casey Foundation:
    • 53 percent of American tax benefits went to the top 5 percent of earners: households making over $160,000.
    • The wealthiest Americans (those earning over $1 million annually) receive more than $95,000 in tax benefits while middle income families receive a few hundred dollars and poor families relying on public benefits actually face penalties for saving.
    • Eight out of 10 of the wealthiest families saved approximately one-third of their household income in 2009, while one-third of low-income households earned too little to make ends meet, much less save for the future.
    • About 80 percent of the value for mortgage and property tax deductions accrued to the top 20 percent of taxpayers. In fact, many homeowners don’t take the mortgage deduction because they do not earn enough income or incur enough of a tax liability to warrant itemizing their deductions.
    The report details these specific tax policies and asks Congress to pursue more equitable ways of delivering assistance to low and middle income families.

    Monday, November 22, 2010

    Monday, November 15, 2010

    2010 Southwest Ohio FCAA Thanksgiving

    The Southwest Ohio FCAA Thanksgiving was made possible by:
    Decorations were donated by Kroger, and the beautiful table arrangements made possible by Val Bairnsfather.

    Channel 12 and Fox News stopped by to capture some of the excitement.

    Saturday, November 13, 2010

    Protect Your Personal Information Online

    Halloween is over, but if you want to feel scared, just do this:

    Go to
    Search for yourself (by personal email address OR name OR phone)

    They will list your name, age, home address and a map to your house, if you own a house. They will list any blogs you have written and any social networks that you are a part of… including your Amazon wish list.

    If you are uncomfortable with having that information available online, they will take it down, but you have to submit the request three times:

    Go to: - you’ll want to keep this page open, because you are submitting all three requests via this form.

    Then, open a separate browser and go back into

    1. Search for yourself by email. Copy that URL into the privacy page and follow the instructions, including checking your email to confirm the request

    2. Search for yourself by name. You can scroll down to your state and if you own a house, they will list your address. Copy that URL into the privacy page and follow the instructions.

    3. Search for yourself by phone. Cell phones are still relatively anonymous, but if you have a home phone, see how much information about people can pull up. If you want that info taken down, then Copy that URL into the privacy page and follow the instructions.

    The fact that this level of information about us is just out there on the internet is S-P-O-O-K-Y….

    Wednesday, November 10, 2010

    If you are "jealous" of emancipating foster care youth, then maybe you need a heart transplant

    I am currently wrestling with an issue regarding how to respond to the "But I had it harder" attitude -- which I believe is inaccurate, and stands in the way of helpfulness to today's foster care youth.

    During a recent college event for foster care youth, an adult presenter from an outside agency, who came from an impoverished background, commented on about how much she wished that she had access to the resources available to emancipated foster care youth (in terms of filling out the FAFSA as an independent and ETV funds).

    However, that doesn't take into account:

    • the value that "family privilege" brings to youth from intact families
    • the accrued knowledge, information and love that adds up over the years (aka: "common sense")
    • the value of actually having a place to go to on the holidays, and having someone miss you when you aren't there.

    I'm not only a former foster child, I'm also a college-and-grad school graduate, wife and stepmom to two beautiful daughters who are now in college.

    My husband and I view parenting as an honor, a privilege and a charge. This means that our daughters will NEVER need to worry about:

    • Whether or not they are lovable and precious to us.
    • Whether or not we will protect them and provide for them.
    • Whether or not they can call when they are struggling, or stay with us during college breaks.
    • Whether or not, on holidays, we would miss them if they weren't there.

    Such is not the same for foster children.

    Such was not the case for me. I remember, so clearly, what it felt like to be a young person in college, and facing that existential crisis of wondering why I was here on earth if there isn't going to be someone to love me.

    But, at the end of the day, it is not about me. It is about each and every one of these young people who are "aging out" of foster care in the midst of A RECESSION and trying to survive.

    And that's the cause that I am dedicating my heart to...

    Saturday, November 06, 2010

    Litmus Test for Child Welfare

    One of the litmus tests of child welfare agencies regarding how much they truly care about the clients they serve and lifelong outcomes for youth is how they respond to alumni of the foster care system.  

    I've seen the good.... the bad... and the ugly.

    Tuesday, November 02, 2010

    85% of College Students Move Back Home After Graduation

    CNN recently reported that the number of college seniors who plan to move back home with their parents after graduation has risen from 67% in 2006 to 85% in 2010.


    Increasing Access to Higher Education for Unaccompanied Youth

    The National Center for Homeless Education has developed an issue brief: Increasing Access to Higher Education for Unaccompanied Youth: Information for Colleges and Universities.

    This publication exists to inform postsecondary educators and education administrators about the struggles of homeless youth and possible solutions that can help these youth achieve a college education.

    Monday, October 25, 2010

    Young Adults Are the New Face of Homelessness

    Quotes from article referenced below:

    • "Young adults are the new face of homelessness."
    • "It's a group driven by two large converging forces: an economy that has been especially brutal on young people, and the large numbers currently exiting foster care."
    • "The largest driver of the young adult homeless population is the foster-care system."

    Source: Generation Homeless: The New Faces of an Old Problem by InvestigateWest, a nonprofit investigative journalism center based in Seattle.

    Saturday, October 23, 2010

    Challenges faced by LGBTQ youth in foster care

    The Family Acceptance Project, a comprehensive study of LGBT youth and their families discovered that nearly half of the foster care youth in their study had been removed from their homes, run away or were thrown out of their homes because of their sexual orientation or gender identity.

    A 2001 study by the Urban Justice Center found that:
    • Once placed in a foster care setting, 78 percent of LGBTQ foster youth were forced to leave their foster placements due to anti-LGBT violence and harassment.
    • Fifty-six percent of LGBTQ youth interviewed in the study had spent time living on the streets because they felt safer there than they did living in their group or foster homes.
    Feinstein, R., Greenblatt, A., Hass, L., Kohn, S., Rana, J. (2001). Justice for all? A report on lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgendered youth in the New York juvenile justice system. New York: Lesbian and Gay Project of the Urban Justice Center. Ryan, C., Diaz, C. (2005). Family responses as a source of risk and resiliency for LGBT youth. Paper presented at the Preconference Institute on LGBTQ Youth, Child Welfare League of America 2005 National Conference, Washington, DC.

    Sunday, October 17, 2010

    No Extended Health Coverage Until Age 26 for Former Foster Youth until 2014

    Have you ever wondered 
    how emancipated foster care youth cope 
    when their wisdom teeth come in 
    and they have NO medical insurance?

    Health Care Reform for Emancipated Foster Youth

    Section 2004 of the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act which expands Medicaid coverage to former foster children up to age 26.  However, this provision will not be implemented until January 2014.

    After January 1, 2014, all states will be required to extend Medicaid coverage to youth who have "aged out" of foster care. To qualify, individuals must have been enrolled in Medicaid while in foster care.

    Health Legislation Related to the Fostering Connections Act

    The Fostering Connections to Success and Increasing Adoptions Act previously gave states the option to expand coverage to youth who have aged out of the foster care system up to age 21.

    In response, some states have introduced healthcare legislation related to the Fostering Connections act:

    Wednesday, October 13, 2010

    It's Not Too Late to Apply for HUD's Family Unification Program

    The U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD) has given public housing authorities nationwide until December 1, 2010 to apply for Section 8 Housing Choice Vouchers through the Family Unification Program (FUP).

    • FUP vouchers can be used to help foster youth with their housing needs in transitioning from foster care to adulthood.
    • For FUP vouchers to be successful, and for youth to actually receive this assistance, child welfare organizations must build a strong partnership with their local housing authorities.
    Learn more at the National Center for Housing and Child Welfare.

      Monday, October 11, 2010

      Finishing the First Lap: The Cost of College Dropouts

      Finishing the First Lap: The Cost of First-Year Student Attrition in America’s Four-Year Colleges and Universities revealed that, over the past five years:

      • States appropriated almost $6.2 billion to colleges and universities to help pay for the education of students who did not return to school for a second year.
      • States gave over $1.4 billion to support students who did not return to their college or university for a second year.
      • The Federal government provided over $1.5 billion in grants to support students who did not return for a second year.
      • In Ohio, the cost for college freshmen who dropped out after their first year in college was $300 million.

      Chancellor Eric Fingerhut, of the Ohio Board of Regents, views this issue as top priority:

      “The goal is not to enroll people. The goal is to graduate them. Freshman to sophomore retention is key to the graduation rate. We are totally committed to it.”

      Friday, October 01, 2010

      Sexual Abuse in Foster Care

      Have you ever wondered about the rate of sexual abuse experienced by foster care survivors?
      • As many as 75 percent of all children in foster care, upon leaving the system, will have experienced sexual abuse. 
      • One study by Johns Hopkins University found that the rate of sexual abuse within the foster-care system is more than four times as high as in the general population
      • In group homes, the rate of sexual abuse is more than 28 times that of the general population.
      • Foster children who suffer sexual abuse tend to be those who live with those caregivers who have the least verbal contact with child-welfare workers. 

      Benedict, M., Zuravin, S., Brandt, D. and Abbey, H. (1994). Types and frequency of child maltreatment by family foster care providers in an urban population. Child Abuse & Neglect,18 (7): 577-585.
      Child Welfare League of America. (2003). Child maltreatment in foster care: CWLA best practice guidelines. CWLA, Inc.: Washington, D.C.
      Poertner, J., Bussey, M., & Fluke, J. (1999). How safe are out-of-home placements? Children and Youth Services Review, 21(7): 549-563.
      Rosenthal, J., Motz J., Edmondson, D., and Groze, V. (1991). A descriptive study of abuse and neglect in out-of-home placement. Child Abuse and Neglect 15(1): 47-49.
      Tittle, G., Poertner, J., Garnier, P. Child maltreatment in out-of-home care: What do we know now? Accessed online at:
      Zuravin, S., Benedict, M., and Somerfield, M. (1993). Child maltreatment in family foster care. American Journal of Orthopsychiatry, 63(4): 589-596.

      Tuesday, September 28, 2010

      Kids' Share 2010: Report on Federal Expenditures on Children

      Kids' Share 2010: Report on Federal Expenditures on Children through 2009 is an annual report that looks comprehensively at long-time and recent trends in federal spending and tax expenditures on children.
      • Findings suggest that historically children have not been a budget priority. 
      • In 2009, this trend continued, as children's spending accounted for less than one-tenth of federal outlays. 
      • Even though the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act of 2009 provided a temporary boost, children's spending will continue to be squeezed in the next decade:
      Latest Children’s Budget:

      Monday, September 27, 2010

      Too Many Children Die in America as a Result of Abuse and Neglect. We Can Do Better.

      Every Child Matters has released the second edition of  We Can Do Better: Child Abuse and Neglect Deaths in America, a compelling report that explores the crisis of child maltreatment fatalities in the United States.

      A weak economy and resulting state budget cuts are putting even more children at risk, leading to a Growing Crisis in Child Protection.

      A series of recommendations were previously proposed during the 2009 Summit to End Child Abuse Deaths in America. Included among them is the observation that "Current levels of federal spending are far below the level needed to protect all children at imminent risk of harm."

      The National  Coalition to End Child Abuse Deaths has launched a campaign urging Congress and the Administration to:
      1. To conduct Congressional hearings on child abuse deaths
      2. To provide emergency funds to stop state cuts in child protective services
      3. To adopt a national strategy to prevent child abuse and stop child deaths
      This Coalition includes the following partners:
      More information about the Coalition, including how YOU can advocate to support their efforts is available at:

      Tuesday, September 21, 2010

      Young Lives On Hold: The College Dreams of Undocumented Students

      The United States and Immigration: 
      • The United States is in the midst of the largest migratory wave in history: 
      • Since the 1990s, more than 1 million new immigrants have arrived each year.
      • A total of approximately 38 million immigrants live in the U.S. — about three times the number of transnational immigrants in the world’s second-largest country of immigration, the Russian Federation.
      Unauthorized Immigration
      • Nearly one-third of the immigrant population of the United States is now undocumented, by far the largest number (and proportion) in U.S. immigration history.
      • In total, the number is approximately 12 million unauthorized persons.

      Children of Immigrants:
      • More than 70 million people in the United States are immigrants, or the children of immigrants. 
      • Children of immigrants are now the fastest-growing sector of the child population in the United States.
      • Approximately 2 million children are in the United States as undocumented immigrants
      Undocumented Students:
      • About 65,000 undocumented children who have lived in the United States for five years or longer graduate from high school each year. 
      • Although they can legally attend most colleges, they are not eligible for most forms of financial aid. 
      • Given the opportunity to receive additional education and move into better-paying jobs, undocumented
        students could pay more in taxes and have more money to spend and invest in the U.S. economy.
      Learn more by reading Young Lives On Hold: The College Dreams of Undocumented Students.

      Monday, September 20, 2010

      Generation Why

      • There are over 1.6 million homeless youth living in America every year (1 in 50 American children)

      • Over 50% of youth in shelters and on the streets report that their parents told them to leave or knew they were leaving and did not care. 

      • 1 in 4 homeless youth come from the foster care system

      • 33% of heterosexual homeless youth have been sexually abused

      • Around 400,000 homeless youth are gay, lesbian, bi-sexual or transgender, in which 58% have been sexually abused

      • 1 in 7 homeless children have moderate to severe heath conditions

      • Less than 1 in 4 homeless children will graduate from high school

      • Every day 12 kids die on the streets of America

        Learn how YOU can make a difference at

        Wednesday, September 15, 2010

        Number of Youth Aging out of Foster Care Continues to Rise; Increasing 64 percent since 1999

        The Fostering Connections Resource Center serves as a library of child welfare information and resources to help states and tribes in their efforts to implement the Fostering Connections to Success and Increasing Adoptions Act of 2008.

        By encouraging states to invest more resources in supporting foster youth’s transition to adulthood, federal lawmakers hope that the new law will help more youth leaving foster care have independent and productive lives.

        • During the past 10 years, the number of children who age out of the foster care system has increased steadily, with a nearly 64 percent increase. 
        • Since 1999, approximately 228,000 youth have "aged out" of foster care nationally.
        • The percentage of the total foster care caseload over the age of 14 has increased steadily since 1998.
        • The percentage of children and youth in foster care who are 14 through 18 has continued to grow while financial resources to serve this population through the Chafee Foster Care Independence Act has remained the same each year.

        Saturday, August 28, 2010

        U.S. Government Sets Goal to End Youth Homelessness in 10 Years

        On June 22, 2010, the U.S. Interagency Council on Homelessness released the nation’s first comprehensive strategy to prevent and end homelessness: Opening Doors: The Federal Strategic Plan to Prevent and End Homelessness.

        One of the objectives in the plan is to advance health and housing stability for youth exiting foster care and juvenile justice systems. 

        The Interagency Working Group on Youth Programs’ Solutions Desk for Helping Youth Transition will continue to publish best practices for homelessness prevention, rapid re-housing, and service provision for homeless youth.

        Find Youth Info

        Map My Community is a tool designed to assist in locating resources in your community to help you build and strengthen your youth program. It's a great way to brainstorm regarding building new partnerships, identify gaps in your community, and learn about existing resources, in order to avoid duplication of effort.

        The Program Directory is a searchable database of evidence-based, federally-funded youth programs. You can search for programs by risk factor, protective factor, or keyword.

        Thursday, August 26, 2010

        College Completion Crisis

        The College Board has recently released its College Completion Agenda 2010 Progress Report.

        The 2008 report Coming to Our Senses: Education and the American Future by the Commission on Access, Admissions and Success in Higher Education revealed that the number of students who completed college and high school in the United States had dropped dramatically,

        In response, a set of 10 recommendations were made, in order to help boost the graduation rate.

        Additionally, the State Policy Guide created by the College Board and National Conference of State Legislatures. This resource includes a variety of recommendations, including the College Completion Agenda.

        The commission’s goal, to achieve a rate of 55 percent of young adults receiving a postsecondary credential by 2025, will continue to be measured on a regular basis.