Publications – July-Sept 2015
Gender Injustice: System-Level Juvenile Justice Reforms for Girls
Francine T. Sherman, and Annie Black in partnership with National Women’s Law Center and The National Crittenton Foundation
Every day in the U.S., abused and traumatized girls enter and are pushed through the justice system. Despite decades of attention, the proportion of girls in the juvenile justice system has increased and their challenges have remained remarkably consistent, resulting in deeply rooted, systemic gender injustice. Even in the midst of the current “developmental era” of reform, juvenile justice systems are routinely failing to modify promising system reforms for girls or even to collect data on how girls are affected by the problems systems seek to remedy.
In School On Track 2015
Kamala D. Harris, California Attorney General
New and updated data on the alarming rates of elementary school truancy and chronic absence across the state is included in this report. More than 1 in 5 elementary school students in California are truant based on data from the California Department of Education. Furthermore, we estimate that 8% of elementary school students in California are chronically absent. That means over 230,000 of our youngest students are already at risk of falling behind in school.
The high cost of student absences in elementary school extend to lost revenues for school districts in California, revenues that could be used to improve the quality of education and outcomes for students who need it most. In 2014-15 alone, school districts statewide lost over $1 billion due to student absences. These losses top $4.5 billion in four years.
Achieving Racial Equity
Megan Martin, M.S.W, and Dana Dean Connelly, Ph.D., Center for the Study of Social Policy
This new report highlights strategies that have shown promise in improving outcomes for children and families of color in child welfare systems. Given that American Indian/Alaska Native, African American and Latino children are overrepresented in the child welfare systems and also tend to experience worse outcomes in the system and after leaving, this paper focuses on improving their experience in the child welfare system. The report includes examples of how states are directing funding and adopting policy changes to impact these children.
Expectant & Parenting Youth in Foster Care: Addressing Their Developmental Needs to Promote Healthy Parent and Child Outcomes
Charlyn Harper Browne, Ph.D, Center for the Study of Social Policy
The prevention of adolescent pregnancy is regarded as a major social and reproductive health issue in the United States. Although attention to prevention is critically important, the focus of the Center for the Study of Social Policy is on addressing the developmental needs of, and improving services and supports to, adolescents who are already expecting or parenting and their children—in particular young parents currently in foster care and those who have recently transitioned out—to improve the health and life outcomes of these youth and their children.
This paper delineates the developmental needs of this youth population across five domains:
- physical, sexual and reproductive health and development
- cognitive and emotional development
- identity development
- social development
- preparation for parenthood and self-sufficiency