Child Welfare in the 21st Century

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Archive for the ‘Research and Reports’ Category

“Real” Possibilities for Foster Youth

Posted by lboyd544 on February 6, 2013

These are scary times!  Fiscal cliff, sequestration, etc. etc.

However, there is excitement and possibility in the air. The Obama Administration, the Government Accountability Office (GAO), the Office of Inspector General (OIG), Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration (SAMHSA), the Center for Medicare and Medicaid Services (CMS), and the Administration on Children, Youth and Families (ACYF) have all published one or more reports within the past 10 months discussing the plight of foster youth in accessing appropriate treatment services, medication if needed, and evidence-informed care. ACYF is to be applauded especially for bringing concrete ideas to the goal of ‘well being’ for foster youth, heretofore and elusive concept.

I am delighted to share with you a recent publication from the Foster Family-based Treatment Association, which discusses treatment (or therapeutic) foster care and what is being done in the field to address the challenges of these youth and the reports referenced above.

Here’s the link:

Beyond Safety and Permanency: Promoting Social and Emotional Well-Being for Youth in Treatment Foster Care, Published by Foster Family-based Treatment Association

Happy reading!


Posted in Child Welfare, Foster Care, Research and Reports | Leave a Comment »

Let reasonable minds prevail — on all matters.

Posted by lboyd544 on January 18, 2013

With all of the angst…and anger…expressed over the past months of confronting the federal budget and fiscal cliff, there is one program that escaped further harm about which we need to know and continue to protect. That program is SNAP.

The Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (SNAP), once known as ‘food stamps’, is the nation’s most important anti-hunger program.

It may seem an unlikely comparison, but just as gun owners are clamoring today that we see who they really are and distinguish responsible owners from illegal and dangerous holders of weapons, so our society needs to see the reality of who those users of food stamps are. In Oklahoma, SNAP supports 16% of the state population (figures from September, 2012, Center for Budget and Policy Priorities). Sixteen percent translates to 1 in 6 Oklahomans, fulfilling its stated purpose of providing basic nutrition to low-income citizens. In Oklahoma, almost 75% of SNAP recipients are families with children.  Slightly less than 26% of those families also include an elderly or a disabled family member. Fully 44% of those receiving SNAP benefits are working families! These are wage earners who buy groceries where businesses hire workers who also pay taxes and spend money in communities. 

Yes, we may have seen an individual in the grocery buying soda, or some other frowned upon product, with food stamps. Just as we do know that some irresponsible gun owners exist — to return to that awkward analogy. (However, it fits for Oklahoma!) Yet SNAP has one of the most rigorous payment error measurement systems of any public benefit program and its error rates are at an all time low even during the recent recession. (Since we do not track gun ownership in this country, there is no comparison rate to suggest.)

Surely, politicians will continue their outrage in ensuring months over ‘entitlements’, public welfare programs, attacks on gun ownership, expanding Medicaid, etc. Let us seek the

Posted in Child Welfare, Human Services, Research and Reports | Tagged: , | Leave a Comment »

People: Our most valuable resource?

Posted by lboyd544 on September 9, 2011

AARP released a new survey yesterday: 2011 State Scorecard on Long-Term Services and Supports for Older Adults, People with Physical Disabilities, and Family Caregivers. Sadly, Oklahoma ranks 48th overall. Most alarming is that Oklahoma ranks 49th in Quality of Life and Quality of Care and 51st (DC is included) in Support to Family Caregivers.

As those reading my blog know, my life’s focus has been on children and families. I am not an expert on aging and disabilities….other than the daily knowledge I am gaining through passing my 60th birthday!

Minnesota, Oregon, Washington, Wisconsin, and Hawaii all rank highest. What have those states done that Oklahoma hasn’t? Why, once again, are 7 of the lowest ranking states located in the southeast of the US?

The report accompanying the scorecard is nicely detailed about possible answers to the above and is offered as a benchmark and set of recommendations for states.

As Oklahoma tackles our design of health care reform and the creation of  a state health care exchange, this report is timely. All citizens, young and old, need a government that weaves individual choice and control (obviously with age-appropriate limitations for the young) with a framework of community well-being in which public structures support access and affordability to needed services for quality living.  That certainly sounds like populist Oklahoma to me.

Let’s hope our legislators working on these issues read the AARP report. Let’s hope our citizens notice the needs of their neighbors just a bit more. Let’s act in some way – big or small – to make a difference.

Posted in Data and Statistics, Human Services, Research and Reports | Leave a Comment »

Finally: It’s not all the parent’s fault!

Posted by policyperformanceconsultants on January 4, 2011

Mixed news, but a new study from Johns Hopkins University’s Bloomberg School of Public Health has reviewed a large research set of healthy foods/nutrition selections by young people over a 30 year period and concludes: (no surprise) kids’ diets today are very different and far less healthy than those of their parents and (surprise!) there are many more significant outside influences on kids’ selections that render parents’ influence very weak. Friends, advertising, availability, cheap costs, etc. are more significant than the pleas and instructions from parents, including healthy eating when that is provided at home.

Yet with 17% of youth ages 2-19 obese (according to the CDC), this new ‘perspective’ simply broadens our responsibility to include communities, school cafeterias, vendors, food industriesand government to ensure food literacy for our youth, to make healthy choices more available and affordable, and to inundate advertising toward good decisions concerning nutrition.

No, it’s not all our faults as parents. In fact, we clearly are minor players in this dilemma. However, we must rally, maybe we have to force, the other influential factors in protecting our youth to be more responsible themselves.

No, it’s not my fault. But there is still plenty for me/us to do!

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