Report Roundup for December 2003 – January 2004

Print More

Unique Strengths, Shared Strengths: Developmental Assets Among Youth of Color
Search Institute

Surveys of more than 217,000 sixth- to 12th-graders indicate that race and ethnicity have virtually no effect on how youth respond to the presence of developmental assets in their lives. Black, Hispanic, white and Asian youth share almost the exact same inverse relationship between the number of assets a youth reports and the number of high-risk behaviors he or she engages in. They also share a positive relationship between assets and “thriving behaviors.” 13 pages. Free online. Search Institute, 615 First Ave. NE, Suite 125, Minneapolis, MN 55413. (800) 888-7828,

Assessing the Effects of Foster Care: Early Results From the Casey National Alumni Study
Casey Family Programs

This study compiles case record data from more than 1,000 foster care alumni who went through any of 23 Casey programs and presents factors that researchers found predicted success for those youth when they became adults. Among the key factors: life skills preparation, being male, retaining housing after aging out, and getting a high school diploma before leaving foster care. 57 pages. Free online. Casey Family Programs, 1300 N. Dexter Ave. N., Floor 3, Seattle, WA 98109. (206) 282-7300,

Nation’s Child Welfare System Doubles Number of Adoptions From Foster Care
Children and Family Research Center

The 1997 passage of the Adoption and Safe Families Act offered states financial bonuses for each year they increased their adoption rates. Five years later, 33 states and the District of Columbia have doubled the number of children adopted from the states’ foster care systems, with some states tripling and even quadrupling their adoption rates.

The center analyzes each state’s performance under the act’s incentive program, and highlights the different programs and methods that states used to boost their adoption rate. 4 pages. Free online. School of Social Work, University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign, 1207 West Oregon, Urbana, IL 61801. (217) 333-2261,

Adoption by Lesbians and Gays: A National Survey of Adoption Agency Policies, Practices, and Attitudes
Evan B. Donaldson Adoption Institute

The institute used a systematic, nationwide survey to explore the extent to which adoption agencies are willing to place children with gay and lesbian couples, and staff attitudes within the agencies regarding adoption by homosexuals. The survey says 60 percent of the nation’s agencies accept applications from gay couples, and 40 percent of agencies have already placed children with them. The survey included both private and public agencies, as well as some religiously affiliated agencies.

Nevertheless, the study authors say, most agencies admit that they do not know how to effectively reach out to gay and lesbian couples as potential parents in order to place more children in families. 44 pages. Free online. Evan B. Donaldson Adoption Institute, 120 Wall St., 20th Floor, New York, NY 10005. (212) 269-5080,

Volunteering and Giving Among Americans 50 and Over
Independent Sector

The over-50 population is expected to grow by 18.3 million people over the next decade, and nonprofits must figure out how best to take advantage of this. The new class of retirees will be more educated and wealthy than its predecessors and more likely to volunteer and donate. Authors from Independent Sector and the AARP offer suggestions on harnessing this influx of potential funding and manpower. 44 pages. $19.95. Independent Sector, 1200 18th St. NW, Suite 200, Washington, DC 20036. (202) 467-6100,

Public Schools: Comparison of Achievement Results for Students Attending Privately Managed and Traditional Schools in Six Cities
U.S. General Accounting Office

This report compares the testing performance of students at privately and publicly managed public schools in six cities – and when it comes to an overall finding, probably could not be more inconclusive. The analyses found that privately managed schools outperformed public schools in two cities (Denver and San Francisco) and underperformed them in two other cities (Cleveland and St. Paul), while the results were mixed in yet two other cities (Detroit and Phoenix). Researchers leave the debate wide open in their concluding observation that “these schools may have differed in other ways not included in our study,” which “could account for the differences we found.” 62 pages. Free online. GAO, 441 G St. NW, Washington, DC 20548. (202) 512-4800,

Zero to Six: Electronic Media in the Lives of Infants, Toddlers and Preschoolers
Henry J. Kaiser Family Foundation

Children between the ages of 6 months and 6 years spend an average of two hours a day watching television, playing video games or using computers, according to this survey of 1,000 parents. This is equivalent to the time they spend playing outside, and three times as much time as they spend reading or being read to. 38 pages. Free online. The Henry J. Kaiser Family Foundation. 2400 Sand Hill Road, Menlo Park, CA 94025. (650) 854-9400,

Household Food Security in the United States
U.S. Department of Agriculture

2002 marked the third consecutive year that food insecurity and hunger increased in the United States, according to U.S. Census Bureau data. About 34.9 million people lived in households experiencing food insecurity in 2002, up from 33.6 million the previous year, and one in 10 households with incomes below 185 percent of the federal poverty rate experienced hunger. About 22 percent of both black and Hispanic households experienced food insecurity, double the national average. 58 pages. Free online. U.S. Department of Agriculture Economic Research Service, 1800 M St. NW, Washington, DC 20036. (800) 999-6799,

Vital Voices: Building Constituencies for Public School Reform
Academy for Educational Development

Prepared at the request of the Ford Foundation, this report breaks the challenge of school reform into two categories: understanding the need for it, and mobilizing to achieve it. The authors address the challenges to reform that activists can anticipate, but focus on building political will and cohesive organizations. 124 pages. Free online. Academy for Educational Development, 1825 Connecticut Ave. NW, Washington, DC 20009. (202) 884-8000,

Highly Affected, Rarely Considered: Report on the Impacts of Globalisation on Young People
International Youth Parliament Commission

This report addresses 11 issues where, according to the commission, the process of economic globalization has most significantly affected young people. Issues include access to education, trafficking of women, violence and water security. 169 pages. Free online. International Youth Parliament, Oxfam Community Aid Abroad, GPO Box 1000, Sydney, NSW 1043, Australia. 61-2-8204-3900,