January 2019

NEW BRIEF! Screening for Trauma Birth to 5

In light of the Governor's recent budget proposal to invest $45 million into trauma screenings, Children Now wrote a new brief, Screening Kids for Trauma Birth to 5. It highlights the importance of screening for trauma and provides recommendations for the state of California and providers to prevent and treat childhood trauma. If you have any questions, please reach out to Lishaun Francis: lfrancis@childrennow.org

Trauma and Resiliency Informed Systems Change in Los Angeles County

First 5 LA and its partners are calling for a commitment within organizations and systems to help individuals, families and communities heal from trauma, strengthen their resiliency, and become trauma and resiliency informed. This work began in 2016 with a kick-off event to hear about promising practices underway in other counties and progressed to a workgroup of foundations, community-based organizations and Los Angeles County Departments that convened for nearly a year to provide...

California Looks to Expand Financial Aid Access for Foster Youth [chronicleofsocialchange.org]

A California legislator is looking to amend the state’s college aid program for foster youth so it covers more students and loses fewer of them to academic problems. The Chafee Education and Training Voucher (ETV) is a federal-state match program that provides up to $5,000 per year to current or former foster youth to help with the costs of college. Introduced by State Sen. Jim Beall (D), Senate Bill 150 would shift the way ETV grant payments are distributed and set unique ground rules for...

Report: Extended Foster Care in California Boosts Wealth, Stability [chronicleofsocialchange.org]

California foster youth who remain in extended foster care after they turn 18 have more savings and are more educated than their peers who exit foster care at 18, according to a report released late last year by the University of Chicago-based research group Chapin Hall. In 2012, Assembly Bill 12 extended foster care from age 18 to age 21 for eligible California foster youth. University of Chicago professor Mark Courtney and his team found that each additional year that a foster youth was in...

Quality must be at the heart of expanding early childhood education in California [edsource.org]

Investing in comprehensive and meaningful programs for California’s youngest children gives them the best chance to become successful adults and contributing members of society. But all too often, in the urgency to serve the most children, we don’t pay enough attention to the quality of care children are receiving, and if child development benefits accrue. That’s a problem. If we really care about all children, then we must create the conditions for all children to have experiences that...

Michael Pritchard came to visit us in Lake County

Michael Pritchard came to visit us in Lake County on December 8, 2018 for two shows about 90 minutes each. The 2 pm show was directed to children, parents and teachers. Most who showed up didn’t know what to expect, they knew he is a comedian and that he talks to kids about bullying, but they weren’t really sure what they were going to get from him. What Michael gave was his heart. While he sat and made funny noises stemming from his Star Wars character voice overs, children laughed, and...

California’s new surgeon general changed the way we understand childhood trauma [qz.com]

When @Nadine Burke Harris, a pediatrician recently appointed to serve as California’s first ever surgeon general, talks about her work, she invariably brings up Diego. Diego was a 7-year-old patient who came to her clinic because he had stopped growing. He also had asthma, eczema, and behavior problems. When Harris sat down with Diego to discuss his medical history, she found out that he had been sexually assaulted as a 4-year-old. That’s when it all clicked for her. Years of...

Can mental health training for teachers reduce preschool suspensions? [The Hechinger Report]

California is trying to support young children by providing more mental health assistance to their teachers SAN JOSE, Calif. — Chally Grundwag, a mental health consultant, faced three teachers gathered around a pint-size preschool table. “What kind of kids really push your buttons?” she asked the group. The teachers at Kidango’s Dorsa Center in San Jose thought for a moment. “Crying ones,” one responded. “I want to say, ‘Stop crying; you’re going to be OK!’ But I can’t.” A crying toddler may...

Education: Tony Thurmond’s silver bullet (Capitol Weekly)

Abandoned by his father and orphaned at age 6 after the death of his mother to cancer, Tony Thurmond believes he could have easily ended up in prison. Instead, the 50-year-old Richmond resident is the new state superintendent of public education. He is the second African-American in the position after Wilson Riles, who served 1971-83. “I’ve spent years analyzing my experience,” he said. “Why is my experience not the experience of many of my peers? If you look who is in jail, it is largely...

Effects of L.A. teachers' strike ripple across California and beyond [latimes.com]

They didn’t write the lesson plan or instruct Cristopher Bautista’s ninth-grade English class. But members of United Teachers Los Angeles were a powerful presence in the classroom where he works at Oakland Technical High School. UTLA had taken to the streets 370 miles south, striking for smaller classes, a living wage and more help for their mostly low-income students. Bautista was teaching “Cannery Row,” John Steinbeck’s classic tale of Central Coast haves and have-nots. “I’ve been teaching...

Why Does Gavin Newsom Want to Move Juvenile Justice Out of the Department of Corrections? [psmag.com]

While visiting a youth correctional facility in Stockton on Tuesday, California Governor Gavin Newsom announced his administration will begin legislation to move the California Division of Juvenile Justice out of the Department of Corrections and Rehabilitation (the same agency that oversees adult prisons) and into the Health and Human Services Agency. Currently, 20 states place juvenile justice under their health or child welfare agencies, 18 have independent juvenile justice agencies, and...

California Poll: Access to Mental Health Care, Insurance Coverage, and Affordability Rank among Californians’ Top Health Care Priorities for the New Governor and Legislature [KKF]

Most Californians Say Their Community Does Not Have Enough Mental Health Providers Californians rank making health care more affordable among their top overall priorities for the state’s new governor and legislature, with 45 percent citing it as “extremely important,” just behind improving public education (48%) and ahead of affordable housing (40%), finds a new KFF (Kaiser Family Foundation)/California Health Care Foundation poll examining state health policy issues. Click HERE to read the...

California Child Welfare Policy and Progress, Winter Issue [Insight]

The California Child Welfare Co-Investment Partnership Report This issue of in sights provides an overview of the latest legislative developments in California, including data and perspectives on the policy and practice transformation taking place with the Continuum of Care Reform (CCR). Beyond a comprehensive summary of child welfare state legislation, this issue also includes a discussion on the key provisions of the Family First Prevention Services Act. The issue concludes with...

Prop 47 Grant Program [bscc.ca.gov]

For more information, click here . Proposition 47 was a voter-approved initiative on the November 2014 ballot that reduced from felonies to misdemeanors specified low-level drug and property crimes. Each year, the state savings generated by the implementation of Proposition 47 are deposited into the Safe Neighborhoods and Schools Fund. Sixty-five percent of these savings are set aside annually for the BSCC to administer a competitive grant program. Proposition 47 requires that these funds be...

Youth Reinvestment Grant and Tribal Youth Diversion Grant Programs [bscc.ca.gov]

For more information, click here . This grant program is aimed at diverting low-level offenders from initial contact with the juvenile justice system using approaches that are evidence-based, culturally relevant, trauma-informed, and developmentally appropriate. Grant funds will be used to target underserved communities with high rates of juvenile arrests and high rates of racial/ethnic disproportionality within those juvenile arrests. Applicant local governments will be required to pass...

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