First Focus


Children Need Us Now, More Than Ever

In focus groups in Des Moines, Iowa, and Las Vegas, Nevada, a few years ago, voters were asked what their top issues were, but only one in each group of 20 mentioned an issue related to children.


The Time is Now for Senate to Pass Family First Prevention Services Act

For decades, child welfare reform has had strong bipartisan support, even during times when heated partisanship has divided Congress on national matters. Several of Michigan’s own U.S Representatives and Senators have been among the most active leaders in shaping improved child welfare policy over that time.


An Upstream Approach: Using Data-Driven Home Visiting to Prevent Child Abuse

Today, Los Angeles County’s Board of Supervisors will vote on a motion to move 103 public health nurses from the Department of Children and Family Services to the Department of Public Health.


Former Foster Care Youth Deliver Policy Recommendations to Congress

Next week, The Imprint will launch a series of analyses examining the policy recommendations made this summer by the participants of the Foster Youth Internship Program (FYI), a group of 12 former foster youths who completed congressional internships.

Youth Services Insider


Head of Major N.Y. Congregate Care Organization Calls Out State for Opposing Family First

As we reported last week, New York’s Office of Children and Family Services has formally opposed the Family First Prevention Services Act, which would open up the federal IV-E entitlement for certain services to prevent foster care while limiting the federal contribution to group homes and other kinds of congregate care.


Learning from Great Britain’s Efforts to End Child Poverty

Results from Great Britain’s experiments in successfully reducing child poverty provide a blueprint for the U.S. to do the same, according to Columbia University researcher Jane Waldfogel. But waning enthusiasm for this initiative in England threatens its success.

    Youth Services Insider


    Shadi Houshyar Leaving First Focus

    First Focus Vice President Shadi Houshyar has left the 11-year-old advocacy group and will join the staff of the Center for the Study of Social Policy (CSSP) on March 7. “Working with all of you in my time at First Focus has been a pleasure,” Houshyar wrote in a note to colleagues last week.


    Speaking for the Silent

    By Lexie Gruber Former foster youth Lexie Gruber played a vital role in changing Connecticut’s policy on foster youth education. Foster children face unique barriers to educational success. This is something I know, because I experienced it myself.


    Trends in Federal Spending on Youth and Families: Complete Analysis

    Washington, D.C.-based youth advocacy organization First Focus released its annual “Children’s Budget” today, a document that groups federal grants and programs into several silos of youth-related funding. This year’s Children’s Budget captures the effect of two significant developments: the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act (ARRA), which bolstered many services for families and children in the immediate wake of the recession; and the Sequestration, which forced sizable cuts to many domestic spending programs in fiscal 2013.