CFK Weekly—September 30, 2002

We encourage distribution of this information! If reprinting
in whole or part, please attribute it to Connect for Kids (www.connectforkids.org).

NEW ON CONNECT FOR KIDS

**Mentoring by Modem

**Wider Horizons for Sunflower Freedom Fellows

POVERTY AND WORK

**Child Poverty Rates: A Mixed Picture

**Child Poverty: CDF Looks at the Numbers

**Are Children in Poor Families Cut off from Supports?

**Mothers' Work

**Young People Can't Get Jobs

**Providing the Missing Link

**Low-Income Homeownership: Examining the Unexamined Goal

THINGS TO DO! PLACES TO GO!

**Audio-Conference on Work and Family

**Trick or Treat for UNICEF

**Teens Around the World

**Every Child Matters Looking for Campaign Contribution

**National Youth Service Day Wants You

**Connect for Kids Launches Kids and Politics for Election 2002

SHORTAGES IN HEALTH CARE

**Childhood Vaccines: Ensuring an Adequate Supply Poses Continuing

Challenges

**Mental Health Services for Kids Lacking

**Health Insurance is a Family Matter

CHILD CARE AND EARLY LEARNING

**States Have Slowed Their Use of TANF Funds for Child Care in 2001

**Set for Success

**The National Economic Impacts of the Child Care Sector

SUPPORTS FOR FAMILIES IN NEED

**Implementing Welfare Reform across the Nation

**Work, Income, and Well-Being among Long-Term Welfare Recipients

**Timing Out: Long-Term Welfare Caseloads in Large Cities and Counties

REPORTS IN BRIEF

**Internet Access in U.S. Public Schools from 1994 to 2001

**I Have a Dream Deemed Promising

**"It's My Life"

TOOLS FOR ADVOCATES

**Speak Up: Tips on Advocacy for Publicly Funded Nonprofits

**Take the Public's Pulse

**Welfare Made a Difference: Escaping Violence, Finding Safety

FOCUS ON THE STATES

**States Suffer Halting Start on Tutoring

**Mothering in Prison

**State-by-State News

SUBSCRIBE/UNSUBSCRIBE

PRIVACY POLICY

NEW ON CONNECT FOR KIDS

** Mentoring By Modem

Research has shown that traditional mentoring programs can help children in
foster care do better in school and beyond, by providing caring adult support.
Now a new wrinkle on this time-tested idea—eMentoring—is becoming
more popular. Julee Newberger profiles a program run by the Orphan Foundation
of America, for kids who "age out" of foster care.

http://www.connectforkids.org

**Wider Horizons for Sunflower Freedom Fellows

For ten teenagers from rural Mississippi, a summer in and around the corridors
of power of Washington, D.C. provided life lessons, and new friendships. Read
about their experiences in this story from What Kids Can Do.

http://www.connectforkids.org

POVERTY AND WORK

**Child Poverty Rates: A Mixed Picture

Given the recession, it is no surprise that poverty rates started to climb and
median incomes began to fall in 2001, according to the Census Bureau's annual
income and poverty report. But the pattern of child poverty rates, and who got
poorer, differs from other recessions. (See the two entries below for related
information.)

http://www.census.gov/Press-Release/www/2002/income_poverty.html

**Child Poverty: CDF Looks at the Numbers

In contrast to other recessions, the proportion of children slipping into poverty
in 2001 did not increase significantly. But the number of children living below
the poverty line climbed for the first time in eight years. And, according to
the Children's Defense Fund, the number of kids living in extreme poverty (50
percent of the official poverty line or below) increased by over 300,000.

http://www.childrensdefense.org/release020924.php

**Are Children in Poor Families Cut off from Supports?

The growing number of children living below 50 percent of the poverty line offers
one example of the deepening poverty facing kids in poor families. The poverty
gap—the average amount by which poor children fall below the poverty line—offers
another. In 2001, the children's poverty gap reached the highest point on record
since 1979, according to the Center on Budget and Policy Priorities. The reason?
CBPP's analysis finds that government safety net programs did less to reduce
the severity of children's poverty than in any other year since 1979.

http://www.cbpp.org/9-24-02pov.pdf

**Mothers' Work

In the late 1990s in New York City—in the wake of welfare reform and an
unprecedented economic boom—more single mothers joined the workforce,
often leaving welfare for jobs. But while more low-skilled single mothers found
jobs, their hours in low-wage jobs did little to lift them out of poverty or
help them provide for their families. In fact, poverty rates among working single
moms in NYC actually increased by 3.3 percentage points from the early to late
1990s.

Mothers' Work, a report from the Community Service Society of New York, finds
that families lose supports too quickly as they move into jobs. For example,
families living above 130 percent of the poverty line are no longer eligible
for food stamps, and parents of two or more kids are phased out of the Earned
Income Tax Credit before their income reaches 100 percent of poverty threshold.
Among other recommendations, the report urges an expansion of education, training
and transitional employment programs and an increase in funding for child care
and other supports for working families.

http://www.cssny.org/reports/special/motherswork2002_08.pdf

**Young People Can't Get Jobs

The summer of 2002 was the worst since 1965 for low-income teens looking for
work, according to an analysis for the National Youth Employment Coalition.
Nearly 1.6 million additional jobs would have been needed to give low and moderate-income
teens the same job opportunities as those in affluent areas—that's a large
number, but no more than was provided under government-sponsored summer job
programs in 1978. according to this report, cutbacks in the 35-year public commitment
to summer jobs for youth are as much factor in the job crunch as high unemployment
rates and a tight labor market.

http://www.nyec.org/Summer_2002_YouthEmployment.pdf

**Providing the Missing Link

Across the country, neighborhood-focused employment programs are boosting skills,
giving people the tools to find and keep good jobs, increasing the number of
opportunities—and proving that the right information, training and resources
on a large enough scale can help transform families and communities. This Annie
E. Casey study examines programs to identify key components for success, including
financial incentives, job search assistance that emphasizes getting the best
possible job, high-quality training and work-related supports, especially child
care and transportation. The report includes concrete tools and examples.

http://www.aecf.org/publications/pdfs/missing_link.pdf

**Low-Income Homeownership: Examining the Unexamined Goal

Today, homeownership rates among low-income households and minorities have risen
to record levels as a result of more flexible underwriting standards and greater
access to credit, according to the housing experts cited in this Brookings volume.
Home ownership strengthens individual families and their communities—but
rates for minority and low-income households are still well below the national
average, reflecting a persistent racial/ethnic gap.

http://www.brookings.edu/dybdocroot/press/books/low_income_homeownership.htm

THINGS TO DO! PLACES TO GO!

**Audio-Conference on Work and Family

The Center for Law and Social Policy is hosting an October 4 audio-conference,
"Work and Family: Actions for State Legislatures (and Congress) to Help
Low-Income Families." The call will include experts Jody Heymann, Ellen
Bravo and Mark Greenberg.

http://www.shop-clasp.org/

**Trick or Treat for UNICEF

You don't have to wait for Halloween to get your orange boxes and start collecting
money in the annual UNICEF Trick or Treat drive to eradicate polio. Boxes are
available at Pier One, McDonald's or Sears Portrait Studios. Coins can be turned
in electronically for a tax receipt at Coinstar machines in participating supermarkets.
For more information, call 800-928-CASH.

http://www.unicefusa.org

**Teens Around the World

In this show, airing the week of October 5, the youth media group "In the
Mix" explores the lives of teenagers from the Philippines to India and
England.

http://www.inthemix.org

**Every Child Matters Looking for Campaign Contribution

Every Child Matters wants kids to be taken seriously in political campaigns.
They are ready to launch what may be the first-ever paid advertising campaign
to publicize a member of Congress's voting record on children's issues in a
key Senate race. They seek non-deductible contributions to get the full use
from the ads. For more information, call 202-393-4053.

http://www.everychildmatters.org/donate.php

**National Youth Service Day Wants You

Youth Service America needs fifty local lead agencies to be a part of the 15th
Annual National Youth Service Day (NYSD) on April 11-13, 2003. Agencies receive
a $2,000 planning grant to organize a coalition to provide quality service and
service-learning opportunities, and NYSD celebrations for young people.

http://www.ysa.org/nysd/Involvement.html

**Connect for Kids Launches Kids and Politics for Election 2002

Child advocates are gearing up for close elections this fall, and urging voters
to vote with kids in mind in November. Connect for Kids’ new Kids and
Politics feature will give you the tools and information you need to make your
vote count for children and families—information on the issues, questions
for candidates, links to state-specific information, and more. We are launching
on October 7. If you have information we should include, let us know! E-mail
jan@benton.org.

SHORTAGES IN HEALTH CARE

**Childhood Vaccines: Ensuring an Adequate Supply Poses Continuing
Challenges

Mandatory immunization programs have eradicated polio and smallpox in the United
States and reduced the number of deaths from several childhood diseases—including
measles—to near zero. But shortages of childhood vaccines have prompted
federal authorities to recommend deferring some immunizations and led states
to reduce immunization requirements, according to this General Accounting Office
report.

http://www.gao.gov/new.items/d02987.pdf

**Mental Health Services for Kids Lacking

Some children who experience trauma may suffer few ill effects, but for those
who need intervention, access to critical mental health services may be hard
to come by, even with health insurance, according to this General Accounting
Office report. Children with private health insurance may face limitations in
their mental health coverage; those with Medicaid or SCHIP coverage may face
shortages in professional service providers due to low reimbursement rates and
other factors. While there are over 50 federal programs that might help children
exposed to violence, little is known about the extent to which these broader
programs actually reach or effectively assist these children.

http://www.gao.gov/cgi-bin/getrpt?GAO-02-813

**Health Insurance is a Family Matter

Today many working poor families have to make hard choices about who gets health
insurance—and medical care—and who doesn't. Of the more than 38
million families raising children, one in five do not have insurance coverage
for all their family members. When that happens, the whole family suffers. Children
of an uninsured parent are less likely to have coverage themselves, even when
eligible for Medicaid or SCHIP, and are less likely to receive regular medical
care for such conditions as asthma, anemia and middle-ear infections.

http://www.national-academies.org/topnews/#tn0918

CHILD CARE AND EARLY LEARNING

**States Have Slowed Their Use of TANF Funds for Child Care in 2001

Since 1996, states have made use of their options to use Temporary Assistance
for Needy Families (TANF) funds to help cover child care costs and improve the
quality of care for a growing population of low-income working families. In
2000, states reported the highpoint of that redirection at $3.89 billion. In
2001, worsening economic and fiscal conditions, however, ended the steady growth
in using TANF funds for child care, and the future looks worse, according to
this report from the Center on Law and Social Policy.

http://www.clasp.org/DMS/Documents/1032806810.14/view_html




**Set for Success

This year, Congress reauthorized the Elementary and Secondary Education Act,
with a focus on getting children ready to read. Policymakers are now turning
their attention to research-based early learning methods. This series of papers
reminds us that children need more than their ABCs to learn to read—they
need the social and emotional ability to tolerate frustration and the patience
to pay attention and follow directions.

http://www.emkf.org/pages/314.cfm

**The National Economic Impacts of the Child Care Sector

This report from the National Child Care Association looks at the role child
care plays in the U.S. economy. The licensed child care industry directly employs
934,000 Americans, more than public secondary schools and twice as many as the
farming sector. Not only does child care contribute to the economy by creating
enough income to support approximately 2.8 million direct, indirect and induced
jobs, but is also an essential service that enables parents of young children
to earn more than $100 billion annually.

http://www.nccanet.org

SUPPORTS FOR FAMILIES IN NEED

**Implementing Welfare Reform across the Nation

Urban Institute researchers gathered information from 17 cities in 13 states
to examine how welfare programs are changing. While all sites initially focused
on implementing work-first programs, the good economy and ample funding allowed
many to broaden their approach to address the needs of hard-to-employ families.
Many expanded services to include such transitional work supports as child care
and health care assistance. Some instituted post-employment services for low-income
working families to maintain regular contact with recipients to identify and
resolve work or support service problems.

http://www.urban.org/ViewPub.cfm?PublicationID=7857

**Work, Income and Well-Being among Long-Term Welfare Recipients

Long-term welfare recipients don't fit into a one-size fits all category, according
to this Urban Institute survey of 546 long-term welfare recipients in two California
counties. They are a diverse group; some are doing better, and some worse in
the wake of welfare reform in California. Some workers are off welfare and out
of poverty, others combine welfare and work to reach the poverty level, and
still others depend on welfare, remaining in extreme poverty despite their jobs.
Some non-workers are living in poverty and are dependent upon the CalWORKs welfare
program for the majority of their income, while others are living above the
poverty level, relying on SSI disability assistance or help from friends and
relatives.

http://www.urban.org/ViewPub.cfm?PublicationID=7856

** Timing Out: Long-Term Welfare Caseloads in Large Cities and Counties

This report analyzing caseload data at of the end of 2001 establishes for the
first time that adults on long-term welfare who are hitting time limits are
highly concentrated in urban areas. Many families are working, but their earnings
are so low they remain eligible for some cash assistance. Others have not been
able to find a job and are likely to face barriers to work.

http://www.brookings.edu/dybdocroot/es/urban/publications/wallertimelimits.htm

REPORTS IN BRIEF

**Internet Access in U.S. Public Schools from 1994 to 2001

This National Center on Education Statistics report provides trend analysis
on the progress of public schools and classrooms in connecting to the Internet
and on the ratio of students to instructional computers with Internet access.


http://nces.ed.gov/pubsearch/pubsinfo.asp?pubid=2002018

**I Have a Dream Deemed Promising

The Rand Promising Practices group has given the "I Have a Dream"
project a "promising" mark, based on evaluation research.

http://www.promisingpractices.net/program.asp?programid=78

**"It's My Life"

This Casey Family Programs report presents a youth-centered framework of principles
to guide young people aging out of foster care, and suggests ways that practitioners
can support that effort.

http://www.casey.org/transition.htm

TOOLS FOR ADVOCATES

**Speak Up: Tips on Advocacy for Publicly Funded Nonprofits

Community-based groups can have a stronger voice for better public policies,
even if their reliance on some public funding limits direct advocacy, according
to this Center for an Urban Future handbook. The handbook combines tips about
getting started, staying the course and guidelines for action. For more information,
or to order copies, call 212-479-3344.

**Take the Public's Pulse

Find out the latest polling data on education, environment, health care and
other topics from Polling Report, which offers national data for free.

http://www.pollingreport.com

**Welfare Made a Difference: Escaping Violence, Finding Safety

Just in time for Domestic Violence Awareness Month, this booklet tells the stories
of women helped by welfare to escape domestic violence.

E-mail Liz Accles (accles@yahoo.com) for
a copy.

FOCUS ON THE STATES

**States Suffer Halting Start on Tutoring

At least five states have been operating under the impression—mistaken,
according to the Department of Education—that none of their public schools
must meet a key requirement in the new federal education law this school year.
Many other states, meanwhile, are lagging behind schedule in complying with
the provision, which requires that students in consistently low-performing schools
have access to a choice of tutoring services or other extra academic help.

http://www.edweek.org/ew/ewstory.cfm?slug=04supplement.h22

**Mothering in Prison

A small but growing number of states are using a new tool to keep women prison
inmates from committing crime. The tool? Motherhood. In Nebraska, New York,
Ohio and Washington, some women who give birth behind bars are allowed to keep
their babies instead of giving up the child to a foster agency or a relative,
as other states require. The programs appear to be helping women stay on track,
although officials haven’t conducted major recidivism studies yet. http://www.stateline.org/story.do?storyId=261168

**State-by-State News

California

Advocates are cheering the first state paid family leave law, providing partial
wages for up to six weeks to workers with a newborn child or to care for a seriously
ill family member.

http://www.nationalpartnership.org

The California Budget Project reports that California's child poverty rate
fell dramatically from 19.2 percent in 2000 to 16.4 percent in 2001, its lowest
level in over two decades. The gap between the U.S. and California child poverty
rates, which has persisted for over a decade, was essentially erased in 2001.
(The U.S. child poverty rate was 16.3 percent in 2001.)

http://www.cbp.org/

Georgia

Child advocates have filed a motion for preliminary injunction demanding immediate
relief for dangerous shelter conditions that compromise foster children's safety,
after conducting expedited fact-finding in Fulton and DeKalb counties. E-mail
Jennine Meyer (jmeyer@childrensrights.org)
for more information.

Illinois

Illinois Voices for Children and others are hosting a gubernatorial forum on October
4, 3:00 to 5:00 p.m. at the National-Louis University Chicago Campus. Space is
limited, so RSVP at http://www.voices4kids.org/govform.html



Indiana

Community-based youth agencies are eligible to apply for funding from the 21st
Century Community Learning Centers program for tutoring, academic enrichment and
other youth development activities. Informational meetings are being held in October
around the state.

http://ideanet.doe.state.in.us/21stCCLC

Maine

Education Week reports that school choice activists have launched a fresh legal
challenge to a Maine program that provides public funding for students to attend
secular but not religious private schools. The case is the first of what observers
say could become a string of state-level lawsuits spurred by the U.S. Supreme
Court's decision upholding the Cleveland voucher program.

http://www.edweek.org/ew/ewstory.cfm?slug=04Maine.h22

Michigan

Doug Howard, Director of the Michigan Family Independence Agency, announced
a Web site listing missing children, or those away without legal permission,
to aid in their return.

http://www.michigan.gov/fia

The Health of the Public in Michigan reports that Michigan has been experiencing
worse than average health status and disparities. The group challenges the next
governor to restore the strength of the public health infrastructure in the
state by investing in prevention programs and repairing the damage caused by
diverting tobacco funding away from health programs and restoring the Department
of Public Health to provide leadership.

http://www.mcmch.com/docs/futurepubhlth.pdf

Texas

Advocates are holding an "Afterschool for All" rally at the Capitol
on October 5, from 9:00 to 11:00 a.m., to urge lawmakers to give access to afterschool
care to the 22,000 children in central Texas who lack it. For more information,
call Anna Land at 502-0681 or visit the website at http://www.tcantx.org!

Washington

The Children’s Alliance reports that Washington state's Medicaid director
has announced that approximately 140,000 of Washington's low-income children
may lose health insurance as a result of state budget cuts. Such an action would
require approval by the state legislature, which convenes in January 2003.

http://www.childrensalliance.org



PRIVACY POLICY

In an effort to better serve the subscribers of our electronic newsletters,
the Connect for Kids Weekly and Connections, periodically we may employ tracking
software that lets us know how subscribers move from the e-mail newsletter to
our Web site. The information we gather is strictly intended for internal evaluation
and will not be shared with any individual or organization.

http://www.connectforkids.org/information1537/information_show.htm?doc_id=9207



Keep working for kids, everyone!

Jan Richter, Policy and Outreach Specialist, and the Connect for Kids team

Jan@benton.org