at-risk youth

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Kline Controls JJDPA Reauthorization, But Might Not Welcome It

For the first time in a long while, there are active bills in both chambers aimed at reauthorizing the Juvenile Justice and Delinquency Prevention Act. A Senate version with leaders from both parties awaits a markup by the Senate Judiciary, and the House version landed in the Education and Workforce Committee.


Uniform Definition of Positive Youth Development Is Long Overdue

by Chuck Jackson Positive youth development (PYD) is the paramount responsibility of all who work in education, after school programs, juvenile justice, treatment, and community programs in North America and abroad. 

Tattooed hands tweak a bike.


Waterside Story: Bikes, Boats and Coffee Keep East Bay Kids on Right Path

Rosevelt Jones never imagined he’d ever have a job. He thought himself destined for a hard life on the streets of Oakland and in and out of jail. That changed when Jones found Waterside Workshops about six years ago, a nonprofit that controls a few small businesses it uses to train and employ troubled Bay Area youth.


Why Do Foster Youth Suffer Sub-Standard Education?

Too many foster kids do not graduate high school and too few go on to learn a vocation or earn an advanced degree. Although we’re just as smart and capable as non-foster kids, the status of “ward of the court” often limits us to a sub-standard education.


Protecting the Mental Health of Foster Youth

Devastating life events such as chronic family dysfunction, abuse and neglect, multiple placements, poor decisions by the court or mistreatment by court-appointed caregivers take a toll on the immature mind. To cope, we may withdraw into a prickly shell to protect our minds from the confusion and our hearts from the pain.


How One Good Administrative Decision Can Reclaim a Child’s Life

Second chances can sometimes right a poor administrative decision. Such was the case for this confused teenager. Two months after returning home from the state hospital, he quit attending school. After all, his immature mind reasoned, it’s legal to quit school at 16 and, besides, he just didn’t have the brains or the interest.


    How One Bad Administrative Decision Can Derail a Child’s Life

    A lifetime ago, a confused 12-year-old boy finally came unraveled. The accidental offspring of a fling between a high school junior and her older band leader boyfriend, he had spent far too long overhearing his parents’ shouting matches.


    The Psychological Consequences of Separating Siblings in Foster Care

    The psychological stigma associated with being labeled an “orphan,” “foster child,” “ward of the court” or “at-risk youth” can play havoc with one’s self-esteem. The terms used to describe our lowly social status say that we are less than other kids: less fortunate, less worthy, less good, less capable, less important, less lovable … less almost everything.


    Why Do Government Lawyers Run the Child Welfare System?

    The foster care alumni movement asserts that child welfare professionals must meet increasingly higher standards of knowledge the more they influence the lives of at-risk youth. This is especially true for non-alumni whose decisions affect the most foster children.