Publications — July-Sep 2010
The first implementation report published by the California Blue Ribbon Commission on Children in Foster Care, of which NCYL Director John O’Toole is a member. The report describes recent changes made to the state juvenile dependency court and child welfare systems in response to the commission’s recommendations. Highlights include the expansion of local foster care commissions, new policies to help former foster care youth succeed in college, and continuing efforts by the Administrative Office of the Courts to help attorneys working in the juvenile dependency system. The commission, headed by California Supreme Court Chief Justice Ronald M. George, was formed in 2006 to improve the safety, permanence and well-being of children and families in the child welfare system.
This report measures 26 aspects of child well-being in each of California’s 58 counties. The statistics are compared both by county and over time, giving a sense of how successful counties have been in ensuring children are healthy, safe, and well educated. In addition, the Scorecard groups the data by population density and per capita income to help similar counties discover ways to improve child welfare. The differences between counties show the importance of developing solutions that cater to unique local characteristics.
Wendy Hess, Public Justice Center
Laura Furr, Community Law In Action Inc.
Kimberly Armstrong, United Parents of Incarcerated Children and Youth
Susan Francis, Public Justice Center
Amanda White, Public Justice Center
This report is based on research by the Just Kids Partnership on more than 100 cases of youths charged as adults in Baltimore. It shows that Maryland’s 20-year policy of automatically sending youth to adult criminal courts has failed. Children who spend time in adult jails are more likely to commit violent crimes after release than those who are sent to juvenile systems, which offer rehabilitative services. The report also finds that on average, a youth sent to the adult criminal court will wait five months in jail for a hearing to decide whether the case should be sent to juvenile court; the majority of such cases are eventually either dismissed or sent to the juvenile court system anyway.