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Child Welfare

Carl Kozlowski of the Pasadena Weekly in California wrote a trilogy of stories over the past month about Mary O’Connor’s attempt to hide from police and state child welfare officials while attempting to negotiate the reunification of her family. Kozlowski first reports on O’Connor while she is in hiding with her three-month-old daughter Maureen; she has since been caught, and faces potential termination of her parental rights over Maureen and 17-month old Eamon, who is already in foster care. Worth reading all three stories in order: first, second and third.

A long feature story in this week’s Washington City Paper by Jason Cherkis about the capital city’s reliance on residential and institutional placement options for youth involved in the child welfare and juvenile justice systems.

Nebraska infused its private child welfare contractors with an extra $19 million in funds. Meanwhile, Lincoln Journal Star’s JoAnne Young reports that the legislature now appears poised to get involved in the reform effort, and advocates are not sold on the $19 million as enough to right the ship.

Betsy Yagla of the New Haven Advocate looks for an explanation as to why Connecticut struggles to recruit enough foster parents.

Education/Jobs

Students struggling to succeed at K-12 private schools face the constant risk of being forced out. But are these private schools exhausting all available resources to assist the student before determining a different school is the best option or are the schools’ administrators, perhaps concerned keeping the student around will negatively impact the school’s college placement rate, pulling the plug too soon? The New York Times’ Sarah Maslin Nir examines.

The practice of bringing in "hero principals" to instantly turn around a struggling public school gets attention in this Boston Globe piece. Reporter James Vaznis writes this process, in which principals frequently move from school to school after just a few months in one place, is seen by the Obama administration as a key feature of education overhaul, but might have adverse effects on the schools once the new principal leaves.  

This new website - http://www.gobeyondteaching.com/ - links parents to teachers who can tutor their children in academic subjects.

 

Anne L. Thompson, a policy analyst at the National Employment Law Project, refutes the notion that a high minimum wage causes increased unemployment – in particular teen unemployment – in this Huffington Post column.

Tomorrow, Friday Jan. 7, the Alliance for Excellent Education hosts a free webinar from 2-3 p.m. that recaps what happened in the lame-duck session and looks ahead to education policy in the 112th Congress, in particular Elementary and Secondary Education Act reauthorization. To register, go here.

Juvenile Justice

Another Mississippi juvenile detention center has come under fire for abuse, this time because of a former employee of the Forrest County facility who told local television station WDAM that physical abuse was a common occurrence. In 2009, a Harrison County facility was hauled into court over physically and mentally abusive conditions.

A long feature story in this week’s Washington City Paper by Jason Cherkis about the capital city’s reliance on residential and institutional placement options for youth involved in the child welfare and juvenile justice systems.

The Office of Juvenile Justice and Delinquency Prevention's Court Coordination Program will host a free webinar on providing community services for high-risk juvenile offenders. "Court Coordination Program: Thinking Small May Be the Best Way to Accomplish Something Big" will help juvenile justice practitioners learn to leverage the authority of a juvenile court judge and gain the assistance of public and private agencies in offering services to high-risk juvenile offenders. This no-cost approach can help communities improve delivery of critical juvenile services. To register online, click here.

Miscellaneous

Eric Bradner of the Evansville Courier and Press reports that two rivals in Indiana state education policy came together on Tuesday to promote a common goal: Promoting mentoring.

Dan Christensen of Florida’s Broward Bulldog reports on the chilling evidence in the 1981 case of Adam Walsh, and the controversy surrounding the release of  a new book about the case.