CFK Weekly—Dec. 2, 2000

We encourage distribution of this information! If
reprinting in whole or part, please attribute it to Connect for Kids ( href="http://www.connectforkids.org">www.connectforkids.org).

 
NEW ON CONNECT FOR KIDS
**The
Art of Learning
**Wanted: More Militant Mentors for Mentoring
 
ALL KINDS OF HELP FOR ALL KINDS OF
KIDS
**Arkansas
**California
**Illinois
**Massachusetts
**West
Virginia
 
FAMILIES, STATES NEED BETTER ECONOMIC
RECOVERY
**State Economies in Worst Shape Since World War
II
**"Now That I'm Governor..."
**"It's Full Employment,
Stupid!"
**Business Roundtable Calls for Government Action to Jumpstart
Economy
**Governors Call for Adequate Social Services Funding
**Children
in Poverty: Trends, Consequences and Policy Options
**Tough Times for
Programs and Services for Kids and Families
 
REDUCING RISKS AMONG
YOUTH
**Supervision Could Cut Risk
**Promising Partnerships
between Teen Pregnancy and the Workforce Investment Act
**Coming Up Taller
Awards Honor Arts Programs for Youth at Risk
 
IMMIGRANT FAMILIES FUEL ECONOMY, LACK
APPROPRIATE POLICIES
**Immigrant Workers in the New England Labor
Market
**Health and Well-Being of Children in Immigrant Families
 
RESOURCES FOR COMMUNITY
BUILDERS
**Right on Course
**What Does Gay Mean?
**Strategies
for Addressing Asthma Within a Coordinated School Health
Program
**Neighborhoods, Regions and Smart Growth Tool Kit
**Community
Toolkit for Preventing Lead Poisoning
 
HEALTH CARE DELIVERY NEEDS
IMPROVEMENT
**Child Health USA 2002
**Fostering Rapid Advances in
Health Care
**Exploring the Limits of the Safety Net
 
KIDS AND POLITICS
**A Decade of
Welfare Reform: What We've Learned About Child Well-Being
**The Cost of
Protecting Vulnerable Children
**Privatization of Child Welfare Services:
Challenges and Successes
 
TOOLS FOR ADVOCATES
**Hunger in
Your State: A Guide for Producing State-Level Reports
**"Wounded in America"
Seeks Stories
 
FOCUS ON THE
STATES
**State-by-State News
 
SUBSCRIBE/UNSUBSCRIBE
 


NEW ON CONNECT FOR
KIDS
 
**The Art of Learning
A
gleaming new facility caps three decades of success for the New Orleans Center
for the Creative Arts, an intensive program for high school students pursuing

dreams of achievement in the arts. Connect for Kids' Althea Izawa-Hayden
reports on this latest move for a long-running success story in arts
education.
href="http://www.connectforkids.org/resources3139/resources_show.htm?doc_id=134978&parent=82294">http://www.connectforkids.org/resources3139/resources_show.htm?doc_id=134978&parent=82294
 
**Wanted: More Militant Mentors for
Mentoring
Even with a history of presidential endorsements, youth
mentoring programs are disappearing. Inadequate funding, changing legislation
and lack of commitment are
some of the reasons for the decline. Bill Treanor
of Youth Today takes a closer look.
href="http://www.connectforkids.org/benton_topics1544/benton_topics_show.htm?doc_id=135102">http://www.connectforkids.org/benton_topics1544/benton_topics_show.htm?doc_id=135102
 

 
ALL KINDS OF HELP FOR ALL KINDS OF
KIDS
 
Many organizations are trying to maintain their services
despite cutbacks in state budgets, uncertainty on federal funding and limitations
in foundation contributions—

that's why they need your help now more than ever! Weekly readers like you are
sharing information on their group's needs—for more opportunities to help
this

holiday season, check our online listings.

href="http://www.connectforkids.org/resources3139/resources_show.htm?attrib_id=293&doc_id=134289&parent=82294">http://www.connectforkids.org/resources3139/resources_show.htm?attrib_id=293&doc_id=134289&parent=82294
 
**Arkansas
Court
Appointed Special Advocates (CASA) volunteers are sponsoring fund-raising events
in early December. Downtown Conway stores will feature hand-painted
chairs
for the "Three Chairs for CASA" auction through December 15. On December 7,
Bob's Grill is hosting a chili supper. For more information, call Laura

Strope (501-328-3347) or Viki Teague (501-327-1223).
 
**California
Community
Counseling Service, a nonprofit mental health organization serving impoverished
families and children in downtown Los Angeles, needs donations of new
toys,
games or books for their 2002 Holiday Toy Drive. For more information, contact
Beth VanBuecken (BVanBuecken@CCSLA.org;
213-481-7464).
 
**Illinois
Start all your
online shopping at href="http://www.greatergood.com/partner/voices4kids">http://www.greatergood.com/partner/voices4kids and help Illinois Voices for Children!
 
**Massachusetts
The North
Suffolk Mental Health Association's Arts Incentive Program, holding a
fund-raising reception at Longfellow Hall in Cambridge on December 11, from 6

to 8 pm, welcomes donations to help heal crippling cuts in state and local
funding so they can offer healing arts to troubled adolescents. For more
information,
contact Lisa Fliegel ( href="mailto:sliegelart@mindspring.com">sliegelart@mindspring.com).
 
**West Virginia
ABLE Families
in Kermit needs new toys or books for children under 3 to bring to families on
home visits in this rural area. For more information, contact Garnet

Fitchpatrick (gfitchpatrick@ablefamilies.org; 304-393-4987).
 

 
FACING BLEAK BUDGETS, STATES NEED HELP
JUMPSTARTING RECOVERY
 
**State Economies in Worst Shape Since
World War II
The National Governors Association (NGA) and National
Association of State Budget Officers report that the states are facing their
most dire fiscal situation in 60
years. The failure of Congress to pass a
state fiscal relief package in 2002 means even more budget cuts are likely in
2003, limiting states' ability to strengthen local
economies and help
families affected by a weak recovery. "The combination of long-run deterioration
in state tax systems coupled with an explosion of health care
costs 
are creating an imbalance between revenue and spending," says NGA Executive
Director Raymond C. Scheppach.
http://www.nga.org
 
**Now That I'm
Governor..."
What would you say to Washington if you were about to
occupy the governor's office in your state? In this op-ed, Margy Waller,
visiting fellow at the Brookings
Institution, offers a few ideas. She says
she'd start with something like,  "How about a little help, man," to avoid
cutbacks in child care and health coverage for kids,

to strengthen the economy and support families during unemployment.

href="http://www.philly.com/mld/dailynews/news/opinion/4628785.htm">http://www.philly.com/mld/dailynews/news/opinion/4628785.htm
 
**"It's Full Employment, Stupid!"

Jared Bernstein of the Economic Policy Institute concludes that conditions
for working-class families won't improve in the "slow-growth recovery" underway
in the

United States. The bottom half of the workforce benefits only when productivity
growth is near two percent and unemployment is around four percent—called
the

"2/4 percent solution." To get there, Bernstein says we need federal fiscal
stimulus provided by increasing demand through social spending, not "leaky tax
cuts."

href="http://www.prospect.org/print/V13/20/bernstein-j.html">http://www.prospect.org/print/V13/20/bernstein-j.html
 
**Business Roundtable Calls for Government
Action to Jumpstart Economy
The Business Roundtable of CEOs is
calling for a $300 billion growth combination of tax cuts to jumpstart a robust
economic recovery, including eliminating for one
year the Social Security
payroll tax paid by workers and their employers on the first $10,000 of
wages.
http://www.brtable.org/press.cfm/777
 
**Governors Call for Adequate Social
Services Funding
The federal government has not lived up to its
promises and has weakened the federal-state partnership to serve needy
Americans, according to the National
Governors Association (NGA). In this
policy statement, the NGA says federal funding cuts in the Social Services Block
Grant hurt states' efforts to provide social
services to families, the
elderly and the disabled.
href="http://www.nga.org/nga/lobbyIssues/1,1169,C_LOBBY_ISSUE^D_1256,00.html">http://www.nga.org/nga/lobbyIssues/1,1169,C_LOBBY_ISSUE^D_1256,00.html
 
**Children in Poverty: Trends, Consequences
and Policy Options

The proportion of children living in poverty in 2001 was at the lowest
point since the 1970s—but it is still high and no longer declining, according
to this Child

Trends analysis. In 2001, seven percent of all children lived in extreme poverty
(less than half the official poverty threshold. These severely disadvantaged
children

may be even worse off than those in the mid-1990s, because their families are
less likely to access food stamps, Medicaid and other programs for which they
are

eligible.
 
Among all racial and ethnic groups, children in
households headed by a single mother were nearly five times as likely to be
impoverished as kids in households
headed by married parents. The report
recommends maintaining financial work supports, reducing the marriage penalty
within the Earned Income Tax Credit, and
supporting efforts to strengthen
marriages and decrease births to teens and unmarried women.
href="http://www.childtrends.org/PDF/PovertyRB.pdf">http://www.childtrends.org/PDF/PovertyRB.pdf
 
**Tough Times for Programs and Services for
Kids and Families

Congress could not agree on appropriations for FY 2003 and ended up
with a stopgap "continuing resolution" that maintains funding at flat 2002 levels
until the

middle of the fiscal year. The National Governors Association says states are
facing their worst budget crises since World War II. Still, many Americans don't


understand how budget delays and crises can affect the well-being of kids and
families. Connect for Kids wants to help make that connection clear. Has your
work

been affected—have you had to postpone new services, or cut back on existing
ones, or put planning on hold? Send your examples to jan@benton.org.
 

 
REDUCING RISKS AMONG
YOUTH
 
**Supervision Could Cut
Risk
Many teens spend long periods of time alone after school, with
limited opportunities to participate in supervised activities. A new study
reported in Pediatrics finds
that as the amount of unsupervised time
increases, sexual and drug-related risks increase, particularly for boys.
Researchers recommend that parents and community
members consider providing
more opportunities for supervised activities to determine whether this reduces
risk-taking.
href="http://www.pediatrics.org/cgi/content/abstract/110/6/e66?etoc">http://www.pediatrics.org/cgi/content/abstract/110/6/e66?etoc
 
**Promising Partnerships Between Teen Pregnancy
and the Workforce Investment Act

Becoming a parent too
soon can have lifetime consequences for the young parents, the child and
society. The National Campaign to Prevent Teen Pregnancy offers
this "Ready
Resources II" report to show why the Workforce Investment Act, a job training
program scheduled for reauthorization in 2003, can be an important
partner
in teen pregnancy prevention.
href="http://www.teenpregnancy.org">http://www.teenpregnancy.org
 
**Coming Up Taller Awards Honor Arts
Programs for Youth at Risk
Arts programs can help youth develop
their talents and skills. The 2002 Coming Up Taller Award honors programs that
enhance the skills and creativity of young
people at risk.
href="http://www.pcah.gov/press/2002ComingUpTallerAwardees.htm">http://www.pcah.gov/press/2002ComingUpTallerAwardees.htm
 

 
IMMIGRANT FAMILIES FUEL ECONOMY, LACK
APPROPRIATE POLICIES
 
**Immigrant Workers in the New England
Labor Market

The economic growth of the 1990s was made possible by a surge of new
immigrants working in manufacturing, retail trade and many private service industries.
This

was particularly true in the southern New England
states of Connecticut, Massachusetts and Rhode Island. According to this report
to the U.S. Department of
Labor, the region's dependence on immigrants calls
for better planning and services for foreign-born workers, and immigration
policies that support key regional and
national economic andlabor market
goals.
http://www.nupr.neu.edu/11-02/immigration.PDF
 
**Health and Well-Being of Children in
Immigrant Families
Two-parent immigrant families are more likely to
be low-income than their native counterparts, because immigrant workers earn
lower wages and the second parent
is less likely to work, according to this
Urban Institute analysis. Children of immigrants are more likely to be in fair
or poor health and not have a usual source of
health care. The researchers
conclude that policies intended to promote work and marriage may be less helpful
to immigrants than those intended to boost income
through work
supports.
http://www.urban.org/url.cfm?ID=310584
 

 
RESOURCES FOR COMMUNITY
BUILDERS
 
**Right on Course
The effects
of trauma, maltreatment and abuse can stall learning for thousands of children
in classrooms across the country. This handbook from Civitas gives
teachers
the information to help them understand the signs, symptoms and effects of
trauma and maltreatment on learning and specific classroom activities to help

children heal and begin to learn.
href="http://www.civitas.org">http://www.civitas.org
 
**What Does Gay Mean?
As part
of its anti-bullying effort, the National Mental Health Association has
age-appropriate guidance on how parents and teachers can talk with kids about
sexual
orientation.
href="http://www.nmha.org/whatdoesgaymean/index.cfm">http://www.nmha.org/whatdoesgaymean/index.cfm
 
**Strategies for Addressing Asthma
Within a Coordinated School Health Program
Asthma-friendly schools
are those that make an effort to create safe and
supportive learning environments for students with asthma and have
policies that allow students to manage their asthma. This CDC manual offers
guidance on reaching these objectives.
href="http://www.cdc.gov/healthyyouth/healthtopics/asthma">http://www.cdc.gov/healthyyouth/healthtopics/asthma
 
**Neighborhoods, Regions and Smart Growth
Tool Kit
This toolkit explains how regional growth policies affect
neighborhoods, and how regional growth and neighborhood development interact.
Advocates who want to
foster sustainable community revitalization can use
this roadmap from the National Neighborhood Coalition to educate reporters and
to work more effectively for
"smart growth." Contact Leah Kalinosky
(202-408-8553) for more information.
href="http://www.neighborhoodcoalition.org">http://www.neighborhoodcoalition.org
 
**Community Toolkit for Preventing
Lead Poisoning
The Alliance to End Childhood Lead Poisoning's
Community Tool Kit is intended to help communities fight childhood lead
poisoning by focusing lead screening
where it can do the most good,
increasing screening for children in target
communities.
href="http://www.aeclp.org/communitytoolkit.html">http://www.aeclp.org/communitytoolkit.html
 

 
HEALTH CARE DELIVERY NEEDS
IMPROVEMENT
 
**Child Health USA 2002
The
official 2002 health statistics for children, youth and child-bearing women show
significant improvements but persistent challenges. Prenatal care has improved

but the rate of low birthweight babies has not. Injuries are preventable but
are still the leading cause of death for children over age one. For 5- to
14-year-olds,
firearms and drowning are the major causes of injury deaths
after motor vehicle accidents.
href="http://www.mchb.hrsa.gov/chusa02/index.htm">http://www.mchb.hrsa.gov/chusa02/index.htm
 
**Fostering Rapid Advances in Health Care

The health care delivery system is incapable of meeting the current—let
alone future—needs of the American public, charges this Institute of Medicine
report. The

report identifies a range of demonstration projects addressing key aspects of
the health care delivery system and the financing and legal environmentto offer
guidance

for future large-scale reforms. The projects include computerizing health information
and records, expanding access to health insurance, and reforming medical

liability regulations.

href="http://www.nap.edu/catalog/10565.html?onpi_newsdoc1192002">http://www.nap.edu/catalog/10565.html?onpi_newsdoc1192002
 
**Exploring the Limits of the Safety
Net
Community health centers (CHCs) can offer the same level of care
for uninsured and insured patients, but when patients need referrals for
specialized diagnostic and
treatment services, uninsured patients are often
left in the lurch. The study highlights the increasing strain placed on
resources and staff as CHCs try to stretch limited
primary care budgets to
serve uninsured patients and others in their communities. The full article is
available only to Health Affairs subscribers.
href="http://www.healthaffairs.org/1130_abstract_c.php?ID=http://www.healthaffairs.org/Library/v21n6/s27.pdf">http://www.healthaffairs.org/1130_abstract_c.php?ID=http://www.healthaffairs.org/Library/v21n6/s27.pdf
 

 
KIDS AND POLITICS
 
**A Decade of Welfare Reform: What We've
Learned About Child Well-Being
When policy makers return to
Washington in 2003, they will again try to negotiate reauthorization of the 1996
welfare reform legislation. Long on rhetoric, the
debate will unfortunately
be short on real information about reform's long-term impact of new welfare
policies on the well-being of the children and youth.
 
This RAND synthesis of the research shows that
welfare reform's work requirements alone do not have strong favorable or
unfavorable impacts on children, but are
associated with unfavorable
outcomes for adolescents. School-age children seem to have benefited from
financial work incentives, most likely because family income
increases from
combining work and welfare assistance.
href="http://www.rand.org/publications/RB/RB5068/RB5068.pdf">http://www.rand.org/publications/RB/RB5068/RB5068.pdf
 
**The Cost of Protecting Vulnerable
Children
In state fiscal year (SFY) 2000, states spent at least $20
billion on child welfare services, with $9.9 billion coming from federal funds,
$7.9 billion from state sources,
and $2.2 billion from local governments,
according to this Urban Institute brief.  Since the passage of the
Temporary Assistance for Needy Families (TANF) welfare
reform bill in 1996
and the child welfare Adoption and Safe Families Act in the mid-1990s, states
have relied mostly on TANF to absorb the declines in other
federal
funds.
href="http://www.urban.org/UploadedPDF/310586_FactPerspectives.pdf">http://www.urban.org/UploadedPDF/310586_FactPerspectives.pdf
 
**Privatization of Child Welfare Services:
Challenges and Successes
Despite the rhetoric in support of
privatizing child welfare services, this Children's Rights analysis of six sites
finds that privatizing has not lowered costs or produced
greater efficiency.
Initiatives that showed success, particularly in achieving permanency for
children in foster care, had clearly specified outcomes and strong

high-level leadership. Call Geoffrey Knox (212-229-0540) for a copy of the
study or executive summary.
href="http://www.childrensrights.org/press/2002-1124.htm">http://www.childrensrights.org/press/2002-1124.htm
 

 
TOOLS FOR ADVOCATES
 
**Hunger in Your State: A Guide for
Producing State-Level Reports
The Oregon Center for Public Policy
has released a guide for state-level researchers producing reports on hunger and
food insecurity.  The guide, based on
1998-2000 data from the Census
Food Security Supplement, includes information on data gathering and sources,
and report writing.
href="http://www.ocpp.org/2002/rpt021114.pdf">http://www.ocpp.org/2002/rpt021114.pdf
 
**"Wounded in America" Seeks
Stories
The Chicago Chapter of Physicians for Social Responsibility
seeks stories from people who have survived gun injuries for a nationwide
photo/journalism
documentary. A photographer and journalist team will meet
with shooting survivors and record their experiences.  E-mail Chicago PSR
(chicagopsr@msn.com).
href="http://www.psr.org/violence.htm">http://www.psr.org/violence.htm
 

 
FOCUS ON THE STATES
 
**State-by-State News
 
District of Columbia

Poverty in DC strikes kids—especially young children—harder
than any other age group, according to "Every Kid Counts in the District of
Columbia." Unlike their

suburban neighbors, families living in the District did not benefit from the
increase in jobs in recent years and face a worsening economy in 2002.

http://www.dckidscount.org/dckidscount.htm
 
Indiana
The Indiana Kids Count
Data Book reports an all-time low teen birthrate and a slight decline in infant
mortality rates. The high school graduation rate was close to
90 percent for
the class of 2001, but the number of graduates was just over 70 percent of the
number of freshman who entered high school four years earlier. Child
poverty
is at 14.1 percent, below the national average of 18.9 percent. The Data Book is
available by calling 800-343-7060. Cost: $12.50  href="http://www.iyi.org">http://www.iyi.org
(select the
2002 Data Book)
 
New York
The Children's Defense
Fund New York reports that the New York City Council restored the Mayor's
proposed cuts to day care slots, preventative services and
after school
programs that are crucial for children and families.
href="http://www.cdfny.org">http://www.cdfny.org
 
North Carolina
The Charlotte
Observer reports that a court program in North Carolina making alcohol and other
drug addiction treatment mandatory for parents who lose custody
of their
children is breaking new policy ground.
href="http://www.jointogether.org/sa/news/summaries/reader/0,1854,555286,00.html">http://www.jointogether.org/sa/news/summaries/reader/0,1854,555286,00.html
 
Keep up the good work, everyone!
 
Jan Richter, Advocacy Director, and the Connect for
Kids team
Jan@benton.org