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November 10, 2009

HEY’s biweekly e-newsletter contains links to articles, reports, and information of interest to the foster care community.


In This Issue

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Job and Community Opportunities
Girls Incorporated of Alameda County Hiring Special Events Admin

Girls Incorporated of Alameda County seeks a part-time Development Special Events Administrative Assistant to assist the Events Manager with all events and activities. This is a position available immediately in an established fundraising department. Requiring a high degree of organization, a sharp eye for detail, and an enthusiastic commitment to producing top-notch functions, this position allows for exposure to a diverse array of events and professional development in fundraising and events production. Go to www.heysf.org for more info.

St. Anthony Foundation, Group Volunteer Coordinator

Use your volunteer coordination skills to further the work of a well-known and respected non-profit organization serving the poor and homeless in San Francisco. St. Anthony Foundation is searching for a motivated, creative and energetic Group Volunteer Coordinator committed to social justice to join the Justice Education, Volunteer and Advocacy Program team.

Your duties will include recruiting volunteer groups from new constituencies such as corporations. You will be responsible for maintaining the schedule of all volunteer groups and working with St. Anthony’s departments to coordinate current and new group service projects.

2010 Congressional Foster Youth Internship Program

By bringing together former foster youth with Congressional offices, the Congressional Coalition on Adoption Institute (CCAI) helps raise awareness of the policy and procedural barriers that keep children feeling trapped in foster care. Through this interaction, Members of Congress are given a firsthand view of the failures and successes of the U.S. foster care system. Over the last 5 years, 60 Members of Congress have directly benefitted from the unique opportunity.

As part of the program, CCAI facilitates the production of an annual policy related report, created entirely by the FYI intern class and released at a Congressional Briefing hosted by the FYI Interns. This unique report represents the combination of a lifetime of experience and nine weeks of intense policy related research, and is intended to be used as a resource for Members of Congress working to address the barriers that too often hinder children from realizing their basic right to a family.

Program Dates: May 29-July 31, 2010

Click here for the application

Upcoming Events
The CBO Center offers Marketing Training to Non-Profits

Given the number of nonprofits competing for funding in today’s economy, clarity and focus in articulating your organization’s point of difference is critical to success. So how do we get others to understand what makes an organization unique? And what do you need to say and do to bring this to light? In this roundtable group for executive directors, you will discuss how to articulate clearly who you are and what it is you do really well, in a way that is clear for others to understand. Facilitator Sarah Moore will explain how to assess other organizations that compete for dollars in your sector, unearthing how they project themselves, so you can strengthen how you stand out from the crowd. Learn and share with your peers in this interactive format.
Friday, November 6, 8:30 – 10:00, Public Health Institute, 555 12th Street, Oakland, $25 (includes a light breakfast) Register

The Institute for Youth, Education and Families offers FREE AudioConference

The YEF Institute will sponsor a free, hour-long audioconference on Thurs., Nov. 19, 2:30 p.m. Eastern Time on “City Strategies to Support Homeless Youth.”

Network For Good Offers 6 Free Trainings

Network for Good offers 6 free trainings for non-profit fundraising. Some classes include; Take Advantage of the Fundraising Channel on the Rise:Introducing Custom DonateNow and Online Fundraising, Raising Funds in Uncertain Times and How to Adapt Now to the 6 Trends Changing Philanthropy Forever.

Pulitzer Prize winner Sonia Nazario, author of Enriqu's Journey, speaking in San Francisco

Pulitzer Prize winner Sonia Nazario, who wrote Enrique’s Journey, is speaking in San Francisco at the request of the HSA summer book group. Her book was a powerful story about undocumented minors who migrate alone to the U.S. Ms. Nazario will be speaking at St. John’s church, just two blocks away from 170 Otis, at 6:00 on Friday, November 13th. The Interfaith Coalition on Immigration Rights, Good Samaritan Settlement House, and Green Arcade Books are co-sponsoring the event.

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'
HEY on KDIA Christian Talk Radio

HEY’s Executive Director, Sara Razavi, was recently interviewed by Bob Gourley of KDIA (1640 AM). HEY was especially excited about this opportunity because KDIA is part of network of Christian stations with a mission to support members of the Chrisitian community.

HEY Technology Update

HEYsf.org now has easy to use features for anyone interested in learning about current issues, events, research and resources for and about foster care and emancipation, especially in the Bay Area and California. Using social media for advocacy is the best way to reach a large audience and spread our mission to support and strengthen systems for youth aging out of foster care.

Emancipated Youth Advocacy Board (EYAB) Updates
Beyond Marriage: Recognizing Alternative Family Relationships

On Thursday October 29th I attended a forum entitled Beyond Marriage: Recognizing Alternative Family Relationships presented by the LGBT Advisory Committee of the San Francisco Human Rights Committee. The event consisted of 4 panelists who worked in the field of advocating for alternative family rights. They included Judy Appeal, Executive Director of Our Family Coalition, Samer Danfoura, Attorney, Cathy Sakimura, Staff Attorney for the National Center for Lesbian Rights and Melanie Rowen, Staff Attorney for the National Center for Lesbian Rights. The forum was a place where the public and panelists could engage in a discussion on how to recognize alternative kinship structures among people who are not related by blood or legal adoption. Within that there was a specific focus on including the experience of emancipated youth, seniors, those estranged from their legally recognized families and members of the LGBT community. I was asked to attend on behalf of HEY to lend to the discussion my experience of being an emancipated foster youth and how this in itself was a type of alternative family, and how many foster youth are in families where they have chosen the kinship or the family is created without any blood relationship. The discussion talked about a variety of issues ranging from benefits of alternative families to obstacles like visiting someone in the hospital or being recognized in a will or legal proceeding. There were three key questions asked to the panelists and audience to facilitate discussion. The three questions were 1.) What kinds of non-spousal alternative families exist? 2.) What obstacles or legal hurdles exist for these relationships and 3.) What can be done to support alternative families through legal and other means? These questions really helped us explore what it means to be in an alternative family and kept the conversation informative and engaging. I walked away with a better appreciation for alternative families and a way to help all foster youth who feel that they don’t have a family or belong to a family give voice to the many meaningful relationships they create themselves, and how that itself is a family!

Local, State and Federal Policy Updates
SF Board of Supervisors Meetings

Board of Supervisors: Tuesday, November 10, 2 pm, Board Chambers, Rm. 250

The agenda includes a vote on whether to override the Mayor’s veto of an ordinance to prohibit the city from reporting youth arrested for a felony to U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) before they receive due process in court. In July 2008, Mayor Newsom instructed the Juvenile Probation Department to begin reporting undocumented youth for deportation when they are arrested. On October 27, the Board voted 8 to 3 to ensure that juveniles are not reported until after they receive a fair trial on the criminal charges. Mayor Newsom vetoed the change, and the Board needs 8 votes to override the veto. However, the Mayor has expressed a refusal to comply with the ordinance, even if the Board sustains the legislation. See the Board’s website for the legislation and the Mayor’s veto letter.

Federal Judge Blocks Califorina Foster Care Cuts

[from CBS5.com November, 4, 2009]

A Federal judge in San Francisco Wednesday temporarily blocked a planned 10 percent cut in state payments to group homes for foster children.

The temporary restraining order issued against the state Social Services Department by U.S. District Judge Marilyn Patel will remain in effect until Patel holds a hearing Nov. 13 on a nonprofit group’s request for a preliminary injunction to continue blocking the cut.

The planned 10 percent reduction in payments was one of a series of cuts in social services enacted by the Legislature last summer in response to the state’s budget crisis.

Patel wrote that the state “is navigating a severe budgetary crisis … however, this temporary hardship does not outweigh the irreparable injury likely to be sustained by the foster children living in group homes that may have already begun terminating staff and cutting services.”

Foster Youths Need Access to Mental Health Care

[from SF Gate 9/29/09]
Elise was placed in foster care at the age of 13, after being raped in her home by a man her mother knew. Just days later, Elise had to testify in her mother’s presence about the rape and her mother’s prostitution and drug addiction. The most resilient adult would struggle to cope with such trauma. Yet, Elise was unable to get any therapy or counseling for several months. Why? Because she was placed in a foster home outside the county where she lived. Elise is one of California’s more than 15,000 “out-of-county” foster children – children who enter foster care in one county (home county), but are living in another county (host county). Almost one-fifth of California’s foster children are placed across county lines, either due to a shortage of local foster or group homes, or because a relative’s home has been found in another county. Out-of-county youths routinely face problems getting mental health care, often waiting months or even years for appropriate treatment. These children have suffered great psychological harm due to the trauma of abuse and neglect, followed by separation from their parents and siblings. Yet, California’s foster care and mental health systems deny them essential, sometimes life-saving, mental health care, in violation of state and federal law. [more]

November Is National Adoption Month

There are 130,000 children and youth waiting to be adopted. National Adoption Month urges Americans to “Answer the Call” to adopt children and youth from foster care.
Visit the 2009 National Adoption Month website (www.childwelfare.gov/adoption/nam) at Child Welfare Information Gateway, a service of the Children’s Bureau, to find answers to your questions and to access adoption information and resources, including:
• A calendar of activities for each day of the month—in both English and Spanish
• Targeted resources for professionals, families, and teachers
• Publications from AdoptUsKids
• A new Proclamations section, which includes Presidential and State acknowledgments of November
as National Adoption Month

Foster Care Library Updates
The Source is Now Available: An Online Searchable Database of Anti-Oppression, Community Building and Diversity Related Activities

DiversityWorks is very proud to present “The Source”, an online sortable database of anti-oppression, community-building, and diversity-related activities. This project, many many years in the making, is a tool that we think will be very useful to the nonprofit community, schools, government institutions, and progressive workplaces. Within it, you’ll find activities tied to such theme areas as race, privilege, power, class status, and internalized oppression, to name just a few, and there are activities for people of all ages. Best of all, it’s free and open to the public, and we hope that word of its existence will be spread far and wide (and that it will be used responsibly). Please help us spread the word about this wonderful new resource, and check it out for yourself at:

http://thesource.diversityworks.org/

The Lumina Foundation publishes a guide for using data in college access and success programs

In October 2009, The Lumina Foundation published a guide called, Results and Reflections
An Evaluation Report: A Guide for Using Data in College Access and Success Programs. The Guide is meant for those programs providing services for youth to access and continue in college. See the guide at

http://www.luminafoundation.org/publications/Results_and_Reflections-Making_the_numbers_add_up.pdf

New Report: State-by-State: Gay Adoption and Foster Parenting Laws

Family Equality Council has compiled the current state laws in the two links below. Family Equality Council works to ensure equality for LGBT families by building community, changing hearts and minds, and advancing social justice for all families.
http://www.familyequality.org/resources/publications/aoption_withcitations.pdf

New Report: Achieving Permanency for Children: Timely Adoption Practices in Child Welfare Services

The purpose of this literature review is to provide and bring an understanding of the factors and practices in the field of Child Welfare Services (CWS) that impact timely adoption placements. Included in this review are also factors and services that affect timely adoption finalization as the majority of research in CWS has focused on this outcome. In addition to understanding the factors that impact timely adoption practices, promising practices for facilitating timely adoptions are also discussed. Due to the limited empirical and rigorously evaluated research in this focus area of child welfare services, recommendations and directions for future research are discussed. It is hoped that such a review will aid in improving services to families, generate more research and innovative thinking and assist with meeting mandatory outcome measures (e.g., facilitating the Peer Quality Review Process). (2009)
Sponsoring Organization: California Department of Social Services
http://humanservices.ucdavis.edu/Academy/pdf/FINAL03%2009%2009TimelyAdoptionLitReviewfinal.pdf

Characteristics of Effective Summer Learning Programs for Low-Income Youth

Effective summer programs can reduce summer learning loss among low-income youth, a leading cause of the achievement gap between low-income and more affluent students.  A new Child Trends review of the limited number of summer learning programs that have been rigorously evaluated suggests that these programs are likely to have positive impacts when they engage students in activities that are hands-on, enjoyable, and have real-world applications.

The review, summarized in a fact sheet entitled What Works for Summer Learning Programs for Low-Income Children and Youth, also finds that effective programs are:

  • guided by grade-level curricular standards;
  • led by experienced teachers;
  • conduct classes with 15 or fewer students and at least two teachers; and
  • complement group learning with individual support.

The fact sheet includes a table that shows whether the evaluated programs were found to work, not proven to work, or had mixed findings for educational/cognitive, youth development, and career-development outcomes.

The fact sheet is based on a Child Trends white paper commissioned by The Wallace Foundation entitled Effective and Promising Summer Learning Programs and Approaches for Economically-Disadvantaged Children and Youth.

Honoring Emancipated Youth
United Way of the Bay Area, 221 Main Street, Suite 300, San Francisco, CA 94105
(415) 808-4435 • Fax (415) 817-4615
Visit us at www.heysf.org