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February 16, 2010

HEY’s biweekly e-newsletter contains links to articles, reports, and information of interest to the foster care community. Click on the title to go to heysf.org for the full article.


In This Issue

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Remember to indicate HEY in the memo line.

Community Opportunities
Employment for Former Foster Youth in Alameda County!!!

[from Reed Connell, Executive Director, Foster Youth Alliance (FYA) 2/09/10]

Today, I am pleased to provide an update on the ACHIRE Subsidized Employment program for former foster youth here in Alameda County. Please review the following information and forward this email to whomever in your program works with youth who may be eligible and are in need of a job.

Partner Agencies:
The Subsidized Employment program for former foster youth is operated collaboratively by First Place for Youth, Beyond Emancipation, Bay Area Youth Centers, and Youth Uprising.

Eligible youth:
The program is available to parents in any one of the following four categories:
• Current CalWORKs recipients.
• Custodial parents under 200% of the federal poverty level
• Non-custodial parents under 200% of poverty whose child’s custodial family is also under 200% of poverty.
• Parents under 200% of poverty who are working on a family reunification plan of less then 12 months duration.

Program services & benefits:
A Job Developer from any one of the four participating agencies works with youth to determine eligibility and job readiness. They work with interested employers to understand the program’s procedures and benefits, then link individual youth to jobs with those employers.

Employers who hire through the program will be reimbursed for 80% of wages and related taxes for the duration of the stimulus act. (Currently, through September 30, 2010.)

Click on the article title to see the contacts for more information!

Training and Certification for Professionals in the WhyTry Model

The WhyTry Program is a strength-based approach to helping youth overcome their challenges and improve outcomes in the areas of truancy, behavior, and academics. It is based on sound, empirical principles, including Solution Focused Brief Therapy, Social and Emotional Intelligence, and multi-sensory learning.

FEB 22nd – FEB 23rd, 2010
Fairfield, CA
8:30 AM to 3:30 PM
Click here for the full application, flyer and details

Redwood Community Health Coalition Hiring for 2 Positions

Redwood Community Health Coalition is looking for energetic, creative goal-oriented professional to join our team. We currently looking to fill two positions: Advocacy Assistant/Coordinator position, and Program Manager for the Healthy Kids Sonoma County program.

Redwood Community comprised of 17 community health centers and public health clinics in the counties of Sonoma, Napa, Marin, and Yolo. RCHC health centers provide health services to over 160,000 people, rendering over 500,000 patient visits annually. Over half of the Latinos in our service-area get their health care at one of our community clinics. We are committed to meeting the needs of our members’ diverse, multi-cultural populations through integration of services, education and advocacy. As a network of safety-net health care providers, our mission is to improve access to and quality of care to uninsured and underserved people in our four-county region. RCHC also administers the Healthy Kids Sonoma County program which enrolls over 25,000 children into health care insurance annually.

Both of these positions will be located in Redwood Community Health Coalition’s headquarters in Petaluma, CA.

Download the Advocacy Assistant Job Description
Download the Program Manager Job Description

Please send resume and cover letter to me at [email protected].

Bay Area Wilderness Training Hiring Director of Development and Finance

About Bay Area Wilderness Training (BAWT): BAWT creates opportunities for urban youth to experience wilderness first hand. We believe that urban youth, once exposed to wilderness, have a broadened sense of themselves, each other, and the world around them. BAWT’s primary strategy for achieving its mission is to provide Bay Area youth agency staff with wilderness leadership training and outdoor equipment so that they, along with the youth they serve, may explore the power and beauty of California’s wilderness. For more information about BAWT, visit: www.bawt.org.

Responsibilities include, but are not limited to:

Position Summary: This position directs fundraising operations for the organization. Located in the BAWT office and headquarters in Oakland, CA, the top priority responsibilities associated with this position are as follows: Fund development and management, including-events, grantwriting, major donordevelopment, “membership” growth, fiscal control and efficient operations overall.

Click on the article title for a full description and how to apply

California Coalition for Youth hosts Taking Action Conference 2010

Taking Action is CCY’s annual conference that empowers youth and youth advocates with strategies to create change and improve the lives of California’s youth. It’s your chance to come to our state’s capital to share ideas, energy and experiences with transition-age youth, youth-serving programs and youth advocates from throughout California.

Transition Age Youth (ages 16-24)
Street Outreach Workers
Shelter Staff
Transitional Living Program Staff
Executive Directors
Youth Advocates

Taking Action is full of many things to do and experience. This year’s conference features:

Dynamic Youth Speakers
Advocacy Training
Youth Art Gallery
Awards Dinner honoring Youth & Youth Advocates
YouthSpace
Workshops lead by Youth &; Adults
Elections to the CCY Board of Directors
A March to the State Capitol
Youth Forum
Much, much more!
For more information, contact [email protected]

Upcoming Events
Non-Resident Father Engagement and the Child Welfare System - Bringing Back the Dads

Non-Resident Father Engagement and the Child Welfare System – Bringing Back the Dads
Webinar Date/Time: Thursday, February 18, 2010, 2:00 p.m. EST

This American Humane webinar will focus on using Family Group Decision Making (FGDM) to engage absent fathers in the lives of children who are involved in the child welfare system. Participants will learn what literature and research have shown regarding how fathers interact with child welfare systems, how father involvement may benefit children’s overall well-being and how engaging fathers through FGDM can better connect them and paternal kin to their system-involved children. Participants will also learn practices that have enhanced the engagement process between child welfare practitioners and non-resident fathers.

http://www.americanhumane.org/protecting-children/conferences-trainings/family-group-decision-making-teleconference-series.html

LYRIC offers Multi-Week Workshop: Gender Dialogue

Intersection for the Arts collaborated with Community Partner LYRIC and their Queer Educators Program by offering a multi-week workshop that explored gender-based oppression, identity and expression. LYRIC’s Queer Educators created posters with the guidance of graphic designer and community activist Derrick Miller-Handley. GENDER DIALOGUE is both a comment and affirmation of the gender experience. GENDER DIALOGUE is on display at the Plaza 16 Public Gallery located at the 16th Street BART station, beginning February 10th.

LYRIC’s Queer Educators are a dedicated group of six talented youth-community leaders who create and innovate programs for queer youth at LYRIC and beyond. Through GENDER DIALOGUE, the Queer Educators hope to inspire a much-needed community conversation about gender-based oppression.

*LYRIC*’s mission is to build community and inspire positive social change through education enhancement, career trainings, health promotion, and leadership development with lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender, queer, and questioning youth, their families, and allies of all races, classes, genders, and abilities. www.lyric.org

Colema's Community Budget Briefing: February 24, 2010

SAVE THE DATE!!

Wednesday, February 24, 9:45-12pm

@ the Bernal Gateway Community Room

3101 Mission Street (at Cesar Chavez)

As the budget fight this year winds up, the community needs to be prepared for what to expect from this budget season, and begin to think about strategy.  Special guests will include Raquel Redondiez from Supervisor Avalos’ office, and Leo Levenson from the Controller’s office!  Join us, hear an update on the budget planning for this year and next fiscal year, and be a part of the strategizing for how to preserve a safety net for SF children, youth and families!!  PLEASE RSVP to Chelsea: [email protected]<mailto:[email protected]>.

This newsletter is solely for informational purposes; the legislative information and articles do not necessarily reflect the opinions of the Honoring Emancipated Youth or United Way of the Bay Area.

If you would like to submit an announcement for a future HEY e-Newsletter, please email [email protected]

HEY Staff Recommended 'Trends to Watch'
Participate in the Conversation! New Features on heysf.org

Ever want to add your two cents about a resource we posted on our site, a report that you read, or an article about foster care?

Well now you can!  heysf.org has a fun new feature that allows anyone to add comments about the information we post – and we want to hear your opinions.  If you read an article in our newsletter, make sure to click on the title to see the full article on the website, heysf.org.  Then, scroll to the bottom and add a comment about the article.  You’ll show up as a unique monster, which will be your avatar every time you comment on our site.

If you want to use your own photo, go to www.gravatar.com and sign up.  You can upload your own image and then it will be used every time you comment on the heysf.org site, and other sites around the web!

HEY's EYAB had an excellent training for Jewish Vocational Services

On January 13, 2010 the HEY team facilitated a training for Jewish Vocational Services, called Best Practices for Employers Working with Foster Youth. The goal for this training was to help the participants to see that despite facing complex barriers, foster youth are able to achieve and succeed in the workplace when matched with supervisors who set realistic expectations and provide supports that allow for a learning curve.

In order to accomplish our goal some of the different topics we talked about were: the general overview of the foster care system in SF County, common challenges faced by foster youth and strategies for successfully working with foster youth in the workplace.

Personally I was touched by seeing how many different service providers wanted to learn about foster youth and the challenges they face so, that they can try to give them more support. I was extremely happy to be able to assist Leslie Brown, HEY’s Program Coordinator, with this training because I did not only be able to share my experience as a former foster youth with the participants, but also was able to grow in a professional level. Noticing how Leslie created and facilitated her training gave me ideas of how I can become a better facilitator myself.

The outcome turned out pretty good. The participants were happy with what they learned and were interested in attending more HEY training soon.

HEY's EYAB Ice-Skating Adventure

What I love about being part of HEY’s family is that we do not only work together, but also support one another. The holidays are times when I become really lonely because many of my loved ones leave to go visit their family, but this year I felt that did have a group of friends to look to when times got hard. The EYAB team and friends decided to go ice-skating and have fun. Personally I had never been ice-skating or anything similar to it, so I kept on falling. Being able to accomplish a long time goal with great friends was one of the best experiences of my life. Thanks to experiences like these this winter break I did not feel alone, instead I realized that I am surrounded by wonderful people. I know that after my internship is over with Honoring Emancipated Youth that I still will be able to count on the great friends I have made at HEY.

Local, State and Federal Policy Updates
Board of Supervisors Budget & Finance Committee Hearing on HEALTH AND HUMAN SERVICES: Feb 17, 2010

Wed, February 17 @ 11am:
Board of Supervisors Budget & Finance Committee Hearing on HEALTH AND HUMAN SERVICES Human Services Agency, Aging and Adult Services, Public Health, and Children Youth and Families

*This meeting will be held in the Board Chamber and will start at 11:00 am, but this item will be calendared towards the end of the agenda.

Departments will present the following information:
1) review of department’s major functions
2) new fees, charges, or revenues used to balance the budget
3) major changes to personnel, including deletion of positions,downgrades, and reorganization
4) contracting out proposals, if any
5) administrative reductions, including management and supervisory positions, and reductions to contracts
6) description and impact of service reductions

San Francisco’s System Improvement Plan 2010 for Child Welfare Services

[from Dana Mandolesi, HEY Project Manager]

As part of the requirements to receive federal funding for foster care and supportive services for families, Child Welfare Services (CWS) must complete a tri-annual System Improvement Plan (SIP). The SIP consists of a multi-tiered review and analysis of current practices and a commitment to implementing new evidence based practices and phasing out older initiatives that do not have proven successes in serving foster youth and their families.

As part of HEY’s work to help connect and convene systems, I attend the Core Team Meetings for the SIP. The Core Team is made mostly of people that work for CWS, but community partners, contracted agencies and other concerned community members are invited to attend. At today’s meeting, the Team focused on one specific issue that San Francisco needs to improve: timeliness to adoption and concurrent planning.

When trying to improve ‘Timeliness to Adoption’, CWS means they are trying to reduce how long a youth is in foster care before they are adopted. This is a difficult statistic, because San Francisco, like most places, primarily is interested in reunifying youth with their own parents – letting them go home. However, for some youth, reunification is not an option, and adoption is the second best choice. The problem arises when CWS focuses all their energy of reunifying a youth with their parents – but that reunification doesn’t work out. The youth is left in some type of foster care for all that time, and then the process has to start over to find a suitable adoptive family.

As a response to this problem, CWS wants to improve ‘concurrent planning’. Concurrent planning means planning for two case scenarios at the same time: possible reunification and possible adoption. This way if the youth cannot reunify with their parents, they can immediately transfer their focus to the already developed adoptive plan – and the youth can leave foster care much quicker.

During the Team meeting today, CWS talked about developing milestones to implementing many initiatives to support concurrent planning and successful reunifications. First, every program and initiative needs to have good and better data reporting, so the results are recorded appropriately. Second, San Francisco does have some programs that have shown to reduce time in foster care, and those need to be systematized and supported throughout all cases and workers in CWS. Third, initiatives and practices that have evidence to support their usefulness or success rates should be discontinued and replaced with practices that have been proven to improve outcomes for adoption and reunification.
Today, the Core Team talked about multiple existing initiatives that work to improve timeliness to adoption, and new evidence practices they are considering implementing. Among some current promising and successful strategies were:

  • A program to recruit and train potential foster and adoptive families through the San Francisco Unified School District
  • The development of materials and brochures about services for families pre- and post-adoption
  • Training foster parents to be mentors for biological parents
  • Reducing reassignment of Child Welfare Workers

Among some new programs that have proven success records in other places were:

The Core Team meets again in 2 weeks, and the topic will be ‘Reentries into Foster Care’.   Stay tuned for an update.

Former Foster Youth Are in Danger of Losing California Housing Support Services

The article below quotes some of HEY’s advocacy partners in their fight to keep transitional housing funds for former foster youth. HEY is closely involved with many Guardian and Renaissance Scholars programs, and strongly urges our supporters to contact your representatives to show our support for this program. According to Amy Lemley of the John Burton Foundation, for every $1.00 spent on housing services for former foster youth, there is over a $2.00 savings on costs for future services.

-Dana Mandolesi
HEY Project Manager

[from the article Foster youth housing needs federal bailout, Posted on 27 January 2010 by Angela Penny, The Guardsman, By Angela Penny, The Guardsman]

Former City College Guardian Scholar Tyrone Botelho, who is now a junior at U.C. Berkeley, speaks at a Guardian Scholar event.

Governor Schwarzenegger’s proposed 2010-2011 budget includes a list of services that will be eliminated unless the state receives a $6.9 billion bailout from the federal government. According to the governor’s Web site, this includes $36 million for funding the Transitional Housing Placement Plus Program, a state program for emancipated foster youth that provides them with transitional housing after they turn 18.
Loss of this funding would have a direct negative impact on the lives of City College’s 150 to 175 Guardian Scholar students.

The City College Guardian Scholars program is a student retention service launched in January 2008. The program was developed in response to the Chaffee Educational Training Voucher initiative, a national program that provides grants to college students who have former foster youth status. A need was recognized for a program that coordinated all of the different services available to these students so that they can focus on their education.

“The Guardian Scholars program coordinates a specific set of survival services so that the students can focus on school,” said Michael McPartlin, special services manager at City College. These services include housing, scholarships, food, transportation, jobs, books, advocacy, counseling and mentoring.

In its first semester the program had 22 participants, and now it has 150 to 175 students each semester.
Tyrone Botelho was one of the first Guardian Scholars at City College and one of four who are now enrolled at UC Berkeley. “I didn’t even think of applying to Cal. I never thought they would want me. But with the support of Michael McPartlin and the Guardian Scholars Program, here I am, at my dream school. I never could have done it alone,” Botelho said.

Click the article title to see the full text at 2010 Report on Child Maltreatment from the Department of Health and Human Services

Fourth National Incidence Study Shows Overall Decrease in Maltreatment
[from the Child Welfare League of America, Children's Monitor Online 2/08/10]

The Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) has released the Fourth National Incidence Study of Child Abuse and Neglect (NIS-4). The last NIS was published in 1996, and, like that one, this congressionally mandated study surveys professionals from dozens of U.S. counties. The analysis includes children who were investigated by CPS agencies, but it also obtains data on children seen by community professionals who were not reported to CPS or who were screened out by CPS without investigation. This means NIS estimates provide a more comprehensive measure of the scope of child abuse and neglect known to community professionals, including abused and neglected children who are in the official statistics and those who are not.

The study indicated that the incidence of maltreatment between this and the 1996 study went down by 19%, compared to an increase of 56% between the second and third studies. Overall 1.256 million children experienced maltreatment during the study year, 2005-2006. Of that total 44% (553,000 children) were abused, 61% (771,000 children) were neglected. Of the abused children 58% (323,000 children) experienced physical abuse and 24% (135,300 children) were sexually abused. Of the children that were neglected, 47% (360,000 children) experienced educational neglect, 38% (295,000 children) experienced physical neglect and 25% (193,400 children) were subjected to emotional neglect. All the figures represent higher numbers then the annual National Child Abuse and Neglect Data System (NCANDS) data released every spring. The last NCANDS report, based on 2007 information, indicated that just fewer than 800,000 children were substantiated as abused or neglected.

The full NIS-4 is more than 400 pages. To download a PDF of the full report, read an executive summary, or choose access other related materials, visit the study’s website.

HEY Foster Care Library: New Reports and Resources
Benefits and costs of intensive foster care services: Casey Family Programs compared to state services

Benefits and costs of intensive foster care services: Casey Family Programs compared to state services

The foster care system attempts to prepare maltreated children and youth for successful adult lives. This study documents the economic advantages of a privately funded foster care program that provided longer term, more intensive and more expensive services compared to public programs.

The study found significant differences in major adult educational, health and social outcomes between children placed in a private program and those placed in public programs operated by Oregon and Washington.

Based on available data, the estimated present value of the enhanced foster care services exceeded their extra costs. Based on the roughly 100,000 adolescents age 12-17 entering foster care each year, if all of them were to receive the private model of services, the savings for a single cohort of these children could be about $6.3 billion in 2007 dollars.

Zerbe, J. R., Plotnick, R., Kessler, R. C., Pecora, P.J., Hiripi, E., O’Brien, K., Williams, J., English, D., & White, J. (2009) Benefits and costs of intensive foster care services: The Casey Family Programs compared to state services. Contemporary Economic Policy, 27 (3), 308-320. Published Online: Feb. 16, 2009. Link: http://bit.ly/1OFZ6t from ilrinc.com

Prevention Initiative Demonstration Project from Casey Family Programs

Prevention Initiative Demonstration Project (PIDP) Year One Evaluation Summary Report

In February 2008, the Los Angeles County Board of Supervisors approved the Prevention Initiative Demonstration Project (PIDP), an innovative countywide effort to demonstrate effective approaches to reducing child abuse and neglect.

This unique partnership between the Department of Children and Family Services (DCFS) and community-based organizations is designed to strengthen families while providing opportunities for government agencies and community residents to increase the safety and well-being of children, families and the community.

The purpose of the year-one evaluation was to understand the value added by PIDP networks in the complex multicultural communities of the county and to identify areas for improvement.

Each of the PIDP networks implemented three braided and integrated strategies:
1. Building social networks using strengths-based and relationship-focused community organizing approaches.
2. Increasing economic opportunities and development.
3. Increasing access to and utilization of beneficial services, activities, resources, and supports.
Prevention Initiative Demonstration Project: Year One Evaluation Summary Report. (2009). Seattle: Casey Family Programs. Link:http://bit.ly/w8e3g from casey.org.

Primary Prevention Programs for Child Maltreatment

This paper by Naomi Weisel, PhD candidate at the Hunter College School of Social Work, discusses primary prevention, offers a literature review on risks associated with abuse and maltreatment, universal primary prevention programs, and targeted primary prevention programs, and explores implications for future research. (December 2009)
http://www.hunter.cuny.edu/socwork/nrcfcpp/info_services/PreventingChildMaltreatment.pdf

Mental health of current and former recipients of foster care: A review of recent studies in the United States

Mental health of current and former recipients of foster care: A review of recent studies in the United States

This paper presents data about the emotional, behavioral and substance abuse disorders of youth in foster care and former recipients of foster care in the U.S. The prevalence rates of these groups are compared to those of youth and young adults in the U.S. general population. The implications of these data for policy and program design are discussed.

Pecora, P. J., White, C.R., Jackson, L. J. & Wiggins, T. (2009). Mental health of current and former recipients of foster care: A review of recent studies in the United States. Child and Family Social Work, 14, 132-146. Link: http://bit.ly/jw47a, from wiley.com. (Please note that you may need to access this article through an academic institution to view it free of charge).

Honoring Emancipated Youth
United Way of the Bay Area, 221 Main Street, Suite 300, San Francisco, CA 94105
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