CFK Weekly: October 17, 2007

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Bringing you up-to-date and relevant news, research and policy developments affecting children, youth and families.

October 17, 2007

In This Issue
Health Care Insights
Resources for Reconnecting Youth
Education News
Who's Doing What That Works
Tools for Your Work
Grants and Funds
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Editor's Note

When President Bush vetoed a bill to expand the popular, effective and bipartisan State Children's Health Insurance Program (SCHIP), many proponents of the bill expected an outcry -- and a possible Congressional override of the veto. Whither the public outrage?

Two new polls shed some light on American's complex views and why, despite strong public support for expanding SCHIP and children's health insurance, there is less support for overturning the veto. The findings are worth a close read.

Also this week: what works to protect kids whose parents are among the rising numbers of Americans who are in prison; helping young men make the same progress that single mothers are beginning to show; and a look at how teachers really feel about their jobs.

Our partner, Child Advocacy 360, brings you the "Readers' Choice" best of Who's Doing What that Works. And, to help you keep working for kids and families, check out the Tools and Grants sections .

Keep up the good work, everyone!

Caitlin Johnson

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Health Care Insights

Two Polls Offer Insight into Why Bush's Veto of SCHIP May Stand
Tomorrow, Congress may vote to overturn President Bush's veto of the State Children's Health Insurance Program (SCHIP) expansion. SCHIP covers low-income children whose families earn too much for Medicaid but not enough for private health insurance. Despite SCHIP's bipartisan popularity, it's unlikely that the House will muster the votes to override the veto.

  • NPR pollA new survey by National Public Radio, the Kaiser Family Foundation and the Harvard School of Public Health finds an interesting paradox: although 70 percent of respondents support expanding the program by $35 billion over five years, fewer (64 percent) say Congress should override President Bush's veto. An NPR Morning Edition segment explained the many findings, and is well worth a listen. Also check out the interactive results page.
  • USA todayAn October 16 USA Today/Gallup Poll supports these findings. While 52 percent of U.S. residents trust Democrats to handle issues with SCHIP, the same percentage "agree with the president that it should target low-income families." What's more, 55 percent of respondents were concerned that expanding SCHIP will encourage families to drop private coverage.

States May Reduce Number of Children In Insurance Plan
Meanwhile, back in the real world of real children: as SCHIP reauthorization stalls in DC, some states are "preparing contingency measures such as enrollment caps or cutting children from the rolls," as this October 16 Washington Post article reports.

Health Care 2008: Presidential Candidate Forumshealth care 08
Families USA and the Federation of American Hospitals are organizing forums for candidates to discuss their visions for health care reform and covering the uninsured. Produced by MacNeil-Lehrer Productions and hosted by the Kaiser Family Foundation, the forums will be broadcast live and archived as webcasts. The next forum is October 25 with Rep. Kucinich (D-OH).

Resources for Reconnecting Youth

UICWhat we Know about Where the Child Welfare and Criminal Justice Systems Meet
U.S. rates of incarceration and probation continue to set records -- and many of the people involved are parents. This concise brief from the University of Illinois at Chicago looks at two decades of data and the most recent National Survey of Child and Adolescent Well-Being to answer key questions about children of arrested/incarcerated parents. It also offers lessons for child welfare policy and practice.

CA LIBKeeping Children Safe When Parents Are Arrested: Local Approaches That Work
When parents are arrested, it is critical to minimize the trauma to children. Four California communities developed protocols to coordinate child welfare services and law enforcement -- and are now seeing fewer children entering child welfare custody, lower child welfare costs and more goodwill among police, parents and the community. This report from the California State Library and Research Bureau examines the approaches.

The two great resources above were featured in the October 2007 Children's Bureau Express, from the Administration for Children and Families.

Reducing Poverty and Associated Problems Among Young Men, Teens
When you think poverty, do you think single mothers? With some recent gains in poverty reduction among single moms, many anti-poverty efforts are now focusing on male adolescents and young men -- who face disproportionate rates of delinquency, school dropout, unemployment, non-marital fatherhood and poverty. A recent Brookings Institution panel discussed what works to help young men boost their employment and earnings to reduce poverty and related social problems. The transcript is online.

future of childrenThis event marked the release of the fall 2007 Future of Children Journal: The Next Generation of Antipoverty Policies, which we covered in the September 26 CFK Weekly -- but it's so good, we're mentioning it again!

Vital Partnerships: Collaborating to Reduce Gang & Youth Violence (October 31)
The most effective gang violence reduction programs blend strong elected leadership, a shared vision and creative financing. This free audio conference hosted by the National League of Cities' Municipal Network for Disconnected Youth and the National Council on Crime and Delinquency, will give municipal officials and community leaders insight into promising practices for cross-system collaboration to help keep young people safe. RSVP to Time: 2 p.m. Eastern.

Education News

Lessons learnedLessons Learned: New Teachers Talk About Their Jobs, Challenges and Long-Range Plans
"They're Not Little Kids Anymore" -- this Public Agenda and the National Comprehensive Center for Teacher Quality report finds that new teachers in middle and high school feel most vulnerable to challenging teaching conditions. They are less likely than elementary school teachers to say they "really want to be teaching right now." Based on a nationwide survey of first-year teachers, this series aims to help education leaders and policymakers understand the state of teacher education and the on-the-job support and mentoring for new teachers.

harvardClosing the Achievement Gap: Linking Families, Schools and Communities Through Complementary Learning (November 1-3)
This Harvard Family Research Project professional development institute will explore how schools, families, out-of-school time programs and other organizations and agencies can work together to build systems that promote children's learning and development. You can add your name to the waitlist and find more information online.

Who's Doing What That Works: Your VotesCA 360
This week, our partner Child Advocacy 360 brings you "Readers' Choice Stories," in which readers vote with their eyes, clicks and emails on the best of Who's Doing What That Works.

Real People, Real Results in Foster Care
"Had it not been for them, I honestly don't know what would have happened," Sandra Elders says about the St. Louis Crisis Nursery. The support facility helped the now 30-year-old mother maintain her sanity and preserve the safety of her two young boys during a difficult divorce.
CA 360
A growing network of about a dozen crisis nurseries across Missouri is helping solve issues for parents who might physically harm their children -- and state data suggesets the approach is working. Some 99 percent of children served by the program do not enter the child welfare system.

That's what we mean by Real People, Real Results.

This and the other "Readers' Choice Stories" exemplify the CA 360 perspective: The unsung heroes in child advocacy are to be found on the local turf, community by community, where the multiplier effect in saving or losing children is huge.

The stories below are, in every sense, community-based interventions that have rescued children of all ages, including those who have "aged out" of foster care. Click through to the quantitative results. See how many times and how many children benefit.

CA 360 Readers' Choice Stories:

Share your success stories with us by emailing!

action alertTools for Your Work

How to Tell Your Story: Free Teleconference (October 23)
This Network for Good free teleconference can help nonprofits and grassroots groups inject excitement into stories, inspire donors to give and get the media to listen. The guest speaker is Macon Morehouse, a correspondent for People magazine who specializes in telling stories about good causes. Time: 1 to 2 p.m. Eastern.

PATTools for Early Childhood Professionals from Parents as Teachers
Here's a great professional development resource for Head Start/Early Start, librarians, WIC clinicians, preschool teachers, child care providers and others. The training materials cover a wide range of topics, from literacy to obesity, from the effect of neurotoxins to building relationships with families. "We're seeing a new way to serve children and families by keeping the professionals who serve them current and up-to-date," says Sue Stepleton, Parents as Teachers National Center president and CEO.

Helping Families Claim Tax Credits: Free Online Training (October 24 & 30)tax help
Tax credits can provide thousands of dollars to families struggling to make ends meet -- but only if families are informed and can claim them. To make it easy for you to help the families you serve, the National Women's Law Center and the Coalition on Human Needs are hosting a series of free Webinars on the basics of tax credits, easy ways to include outreach in your work and how to help families find free tax prep services.

fundsGrants and Funds

Free Online Fundraising Services for the Gulf States
Calling all nonprofit organizations in Alabama, Florida, Georgia, Louisiana, Mississippi and Texas! Network for Good and the W.K. Kellogg Foundation are offering free online fundraising services for one year to organizations in the Hurricane Katrina affected states. Email for an e-coupon.

Young Scholars Program
The Foundation for Child Development's Young Scholars Program supports a new generation of scholars conducting research on the development of young children (birth to 10) in immigrant families, particularly those who are low-income. To be eligible, researchers must have earned their doctoral degrees within the last 15 years and be tenure-track faculty members at a college or university in the United States. Three to four fellowships of up to $150,000 will be awarded competitively. Contact with questions. Deadline: November 1.

Do Something Good for You! Grants
Young people with ideas for improving health in their families, schools or communities can get funds from and Del Monte Foods. Open to young people under age 26. You can find rules and project ideas online. Deadline: November 9.

National Education Association's Books Across America
The NEA Foundation will make $1,000 awards to public schools serving economically disadvantaged students to purchase books for school libraries. The NEA Foundation makes these awards in collaboration with the National Education Association. The 2008 NEA's Books Across America Library Books Awards are made possible with support from individuals who donated to NEA's Books Across America fund to bring the gift of reading to students. Deadline: November 12.

SRCD Fellowships in Public Policy
The Society for Research in Child Development fellowships aim to (1) contribute to the effective use of scientific knowledge in developing public policy, (2) educate the scientific community about the formation of public policy and (3) establish a more effective liaison between developmental scientists and the federal policy-making mechanisms. Deadline: December 15.


Caitlin Johnson and Thaddeus Ferber
Connect for Kids and the Forum for Youth Investment