Report Roundup for May 2006

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Child Welfare

CWLA 2005 Salary Study
Child Welfare League of America
Published every two years, the study analyzes data on compensation and benefits for state, county and private child welfare agencies by region, agency budget and agency type. For more than two decades, the study has provided information about the average salaries, benefits and education levels of agency administrators, child protective services workers, residential workers, and child day care staff.

According to the study, in 2005 the starting salary for a child protective service worker with a college degree and working for a public agency ranged from a low of $24,410 to a high of $42,468. For private agencies, the range was $22,000 to $65,981.

For residential child and youth workers with college degrees, starting salaries in public agencies ranged from $14,560 to $43,835. In private agencies, the salaries ranged from $12,500 to $33,177. Order online. $28.95. (800) 407-6273,

Child Maltreatment 2004
U.S. Administration for Children and Families
According to new federal data, approximately 872,000 children were the victims of substantiated child abuse or neglect in 2004. The rate of victimization decreased from 12.5 children per 1,000 in 2001 to 11.9 in 2004. Over the same period, the rate of abuse investigations increased from 43.2 per 1,000 to 47.8. About 30 percent of cases investigated in 2004 were substantiated for at least one child.

Of the children who were abused and neglected in 2004: 62 percent experienced neglect, 18 percent were physically abused, 10 percent suffered sexual abuse, 7 percent were emotionally or psychologically abused, and 2 percent suffered medical neglect.

That year, 19 percent of victims were placed in foster care. An estimated 1,490 children died from abuse or neglect, more than 80 percent of whom were younger than 4 years old. Free online. (202) 401-9215,

The Role of Private Adoption Agencies in Facilitating African American Adoptions
Families in Society: The Journal of Contemporary Social Services
African-Americans who adopt children through private agencies that specialize in placing African-American children are younger, have more education, have higher incomes, adopt younger children and adopt fewer children than those who adopt through public child welfare agencies, researchers say. About 70 percent of those who used private agencies said their attempts to adopt from public agencies failed because they were turned down or withdrew due to some discomfort with the process. Abstract available online. (414) 359-1040,

Broken Promises: California’s Inadequate and Unequal Treatment of its Abused and Neglected Children
National Center for Youth Law (NCYL)
The level of care and protection afforded child victims of abuse and neglect in California’s 58 counties is “largely an accident of geography, hinging on political boundaries rather than on [a] child’s particular needs,” finds this analysis of data supplied by the California Department of Social Services.

The center ranked counties based on 12 measures that reflect the safety, stability and permanency of children in protective care, including recurrence of abuse or neglect, incidence of abuse or neglect in foster care, the number of times a child is moved while in foster care, and the length of time until reunification or adoption. Even within the same region and among contiguous counties, the analysis revealed wide disparities in performance. Demographics such as population, caseload size and a county’s wealth or poverty did not necessarily affect the quality of care children received. Free. 66 pages. (510) 835-8098,

Rethinking High School Graduation Rates and Trends
Economic Policy Institute (EPI)
Actual dropout rates for black and Hispanic students are much lower than estimates that are based on U.S. Department of Education data and reported as “gospel” by the media, say EPI researchers. But significant racial and ethnic gaps remain.

Recent reports that only two-thirds of all students – and half of minorities – end up with high school diplomas are “seriously inaccurate,” the study says. It says better data from the federal government’s National Education Longitudinal Study, Current Population Survey and decennial Census show that about three-quarters of black and Hispanic students receive diplomas nationally, and put the overall national graduation rate at 82 percent. Free. 108 pages. (202) 775-8810,

2004 Public Elementary-Secondary Education Finance Data
U.S. Census Bureau
U.S. public school districts spent an average of $8,287 per student in 2004, up from the previous year’s rate of $8,019, according to this Census report. New Jersey spent the most per student ($12,981), while Utah spent the least ($5,008). Rounding out the list of top five big spenders were New York ($12,930), Washington, D.C. ($12,801), Vermont ($11,128) and Connecticut ($10,788). Following Utah as the lowest spenders were Idaho ($6,028), Arizona ($6,036), Oklahoma ($6,176) and Mississippi ($6,237).

Public elementary and secondary education received $462.7 billion from federal, state and local sources in 2004, up 5.1 percent from 2003. State governments contributed the greatest share, at 47 percent, down from 49 percent in 2003. The federal government’s share rose from 8.4 to 8.9 percent. Free online. (301) 763-3030,


The Nonprofit Sector and the Federal Budget: Analysis of President Bush’s FY 2007 Budget
The Aspen Institute
Apen Institute analysts predict that, from fiscal 2007 to 2011, the Bush administration’s latest budget proposal will “reduce federal spending on programs of interest to nonprofits, outside of Medicare and Medicaid, by a cumulative total of $78.6 billion below current FY 2006 levels, after adjusting for inflation.”

Projected increases in private charitable giving would make up for less than two-thirds of the proposed reductions in housing, employment, education and social services programs, the report’s authors say. Free. 12 pages. (202)736-5800,


Juvenile Runaways
U.S. Department of Justice
Developed by the department’s Office of Community Oriented Policing Services (COPS), this 86-page guide describes the problem of juvenile runaways, reviews risk factors and identifies questions designed to help communities analyze their runaway problem. The guide also reviews research and police practice on runaways. Free. 86 pages. (800) 421-6770,


Archives of Pediatrics and Adolescent Medicine, Vol. 160 No. 4
American Medical Association
The journal’s April issue is devoted to the effects of media on children. Articles include: “Effects of Media Violence on Health-Related Outcomes Among Young Men,” “Television Viewing and Risk of Sexual Initiation by Young Adolescents,”“Social Interactions in Adolescent Television Viewing,” and “Does Children’s Screen Time Predict Requests for Advertised Products?” Abstracts free online. (800) 262-2350,


2006 Report: The Foundation for Child Development Child and Youth Well-Being Index (CWI), 1975-2004, with Projections for 2005
Foundation for Child Development/Brookings Institution

The overall well-being of the nation’s youth has consistently improved over the past decade, except in the crucial areas of education and health, according to this comprehensive annual measure of the quality of life trends among children from birth through 18.

The report highlights a “particularly troubling” 30-year “flat-line” in education trends despite efforts to increase academic achievement. It also notes a 30 percent decline in measures of overall health since the 1975 baseline level – a trend largely attributed to soaring childhood obesity rates. The index shows marked decreases over the past decade in teen births, drug use and juvenile offenses. Free. 24 pages. (212) 213-8337,

Youth Development

Community-Based Learning Can Ignite Bored and Disengaged Students
Coalition for Community Schools
Research shows that as many as six in 10 students are disengaged from learning, according to figures cited in this report. The coalition believes it can re-engage those students by involving them in community-based learning – an approach that brings together the stategies of service learning, place-based education, environment-based education, civic education, work-based learning and academically based community service.

The report describes the shared characteristics of community-based learning, and summarizes the academic, civic, moral, personal, social and work-related outcomes of various community-based learning strategies Free. 64 pages. (202) 822-8405,

Youth Workers

The Evaluation Exchange
Harvard Family Research Project
The winter edition examines professional staff development in the fields of education, after-school programming, youth development, child care and child welfare. Featured articles cover innovative methods in professional development, conceptual frameworks and practical tools for evaluating professional development, links between professional development and program quality, and the role of organizational contexts in supporting professional development and positive outcomes. Free. 24 pages. (617) 495-9108,

Professional Associations: Strengthening the Profession
The National Youth Development Learning Network (NYDLN)
Professional associations can improve the youth development, early childhood and school-age care work force, according to the April issue of the network’s Professional Development Series E-Newsletter. Featured articles highlight promising practices from such groups as the Association of Boys & Girls Club Professionals, the National Association of Extension 4-H Agents and the National Association for the Education of Young Children; discuss the benefits of professional associations; and share lessons learned. Free. Four pages. (202) 347-2080,

What Counts? A Report on Workforce Planning Data Used by the Nation’s Ten Largest Human Service Agencies
Cornerstones for Kids/CPS Human Resources
CPS surveyed the nation’s 10 largest human service agencies to determine the availability and usefulness of human resources (HR) data and what barriers, if any, impede effective work force planning. Among the findings:

* None of the jurisdictions had work force planning data readily available in all nine key areas identified by the survey, including compensation, demographics, recruitment, performance management, turnover, job satisfaction and caseload.
* HR data systems tend to be designed to collect only information required by regulatory authorities, such as caseload size, error rates and other productivity measures.
* Half the agencies said a lack of software development expertise and information technology support prevented them from gathering needed data from various sources, such as financing, budgeting and accounting.

The survey was commissioned by the Annie E. Casey Foundation as part of its Human Services Workforce Initiative. Free. 27 pages. (713) 627-2322,