Sunday, July 31, 2011

Lisa's 11th Wedding Anniversary

I safeguard this blog for foster care-related news, including upcoming trends that can positively or negatively impact foster care youth who are "aging out" of foster care and entering adulthood without family support.

However, I did want to mention -- as a former foster child myself -- that current statistics do not reflect the many survivors such as myself who, with support, were able to successfully navigate the murky waters of adulthood, stay afloat and build families of our own.

Everything I do, as a volunteer for Foster Care Alumni of America's Ohio chapter is to forge new pathways in order to change the odds, and promote available resources, so that more former foster youth can "make it," survive, thrive and establish healthy "chosen families" of their own.

Here's to the future 10th - 11th - 20th - 50th wedding anniversaries for today's young people in/from foster care. It wasn't easy for me to get to where I am today - and I don't wanna be here alone :)

Wednesday, July 20, 2011

Watching the Teen Job Market Disappear

Trends in the Summer Employment / Population Ratios of the Nation’s Teens 1989 – 2010

According to the Center for Labor Market Studies:
  • Teens are at a unique disadvantage: No other age group of American working-age adults has been beset by such a dramatic decline in their overall employment rates over the past four years, or over the last decade as a whole.
  • "During the summer of 2000, near the height of the early 1990s-2000 national economic boom, nearly 52 percent of the nation’s teens held some type of job."
  •  "As a result of the national economic recession of 2001 and the largely jobless recovery of 2002-2003, the teen summer employment rate dropped considerably, falling to 41 percent by 2004."
  • "The next four summers, from 2007-2010, saw the teen employment rate fall steadily and sharply from 42.6 percent in 2006 to 29.6 percent in 2010. Over that span, the summers of 2007, 2008, 2009, and 2010 each set post-WWII summer lows for teens."
  • "There are no signs that teen employment rates will improve this summer."
Employment Rates of Teens (16-19) in
Selected Household Income/Race-Ethnic Groups in
the U.S. during the Summer of 2010

Additional observations from the Center for Labor Market Studies:

  • "Accounting for race shows even greater disparities in summer teen employment rates. The breakdown by race and ethnicity of teens at work in the summer of 2010 shows about one in ten low-income, black youth and between one in seven and one in five black and Hispanic teens from low- and middle-income families."
  • "Yet employment rates over the same span were 40 to 41 percent for white youth in families with incomes in the middle and upper middle income range. This means more affluent white youth were four times as likely to be employed as low-income black youth."

Why the United States Needs College Graduates

According to The Undereducated American, a report from the Georgetown University Center on Education and the Workforce:
  • The United States has been under-producing college-educated workers for decades. From 1915 to 1980, supply grew in tandem with demand. But, starting in 1990, the share of college-educated young people in the workforce rose very slowly.
  • The under-supply of post-secondary-educated workers has led to both inefficiency and inequity

Wednesday, July 06, 2011

Continued Concerns Regarding Psychotropic Drugging of Foster Care Youth

According to the Multi-State Study on Psychotropic Medication Oversight in Foster Care conducted by the Tufts Clinical and Translational Science Institute:
  • The use of psychotropic medications for foster children between the ages of 2 and 21 has risen significantly over the past decade.
  • Out of the forty-seven of the 50 U.S. states and the District of Columbia participated in this study, nine states had no written policy/guidelines regarding psychotropic medication use for foster youth.
Read the report to learn more about challenges faced by states, and innovative initiatives that some states have implemented in order to address this issue.

47% of College Students are Independent Students

According to the CLASP fact sheet Yesterday's Nontraditional Student is Today's Traditional Student:
  • 47% of undergraduates are independent students
  • Nearly a quarter of students are parents, and more than one in eight students are single parents
  • 63% of community college students would be unable to attend college if they did not work
Meanwhile according to a brief by CLASP and the National Center for Higher Education Management Systems, Not Just Kid Stuff Anymore: The Economic Imperative for More Adults to Complete College:
  • Between 2008 and 2018 demand for college-educated workers will rise by 16 percent while demand for other workers will stay flat.
  • Demand for college-educated workers in nearly half of the states will grow 2 to 3 times faster than demand for high school graduates or dropouts. In six states (IN, MA, ME, MI, MN and OH), jobs that require a college education will grow 5-7 times faster.
  • By 2018, nearly two-thirds of the nation’s jobs will require some postsecondary education or training.
According to this report, just as our economy is demanding more workers that have some postsecondary education or training, our traditional source of such workers – high school graduates – is leveling off:
  • Over the next decade there will be no national growth in the number of high school graduates.
  • Thirteen states (AK, HI, IL, MA, ME, MD, MS, MO, MT, NH, OH, PA, and WV) will have 5 to 10 percent fewer high school graduates in 2020.