Subject: Studies in the News 05-09 (April 15, 2005)


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Studies in the News for
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Children and Families Commission

Contents This Week

Introductory Material CRIMINAL JUSTICE & LAW ENFORCEMENT
   Abused children in northern California
ECONOMY
   Economics of investing in universal preschool
   Child care and employment
EDUCATION
   Determining benefits of Head Start
   Head Start's financial management weaknesses
   Scrutinizing Head Start
   Family focus on school readiness
   Economic models and school readiness
   Developing a preschool teaching corps
HEALTH
   California voters back children's health care
   Unlocking the mystery of autism
   Mercury pollution and the developing brain
   Emotional development and the brain
   Mercury and the developing brain
   Oral health report
   Chemical pollutants in young children's bodies
   Air pollution and infants
   Timeliness of childhood vaccinations
   Infant mortality increase
   Challenges to children's health
   Mental health models for California
   Policy considerations for children's mental health
   Childhood obesity and societal trends
   Funding childhood obesity prevention
   Childhood obesity issues
HUMAN SERVICES
   Young children and child care
   Child welfare
   Financing child welfare services
   Children living on the southwest border
   Santa Clara County children?s report
   Child well-being 2005
   Infants/toddlers and foster care
   Foster care adoption
   Services for low-income families
   Social Security and children
STUDIES TO COME
   Quality of mental health care for children
   Preschool-aged foster care
Introduction to Studies in the News

Studies in the News is a service provided to the Legislature and Governor's Office by the State Library's Research Bureau. Weekly lists of current articles related to legislative issues will be supplemented by monthly lists focusing on a specific area of public policy. Prior lists can be viewed from the California State Library's Web site at www.library.ca.gov/CRB/SITN/.

This service works as before:

  • In addition to our regular Studies in the News, you may request any of our four monthly "Supplements" in the following areas by sending a reply to this e-mail (Please mark your choices).

  • _____ Health Care Policy

  • _____ Children and Family Policy

  • _____ Environment, Growth Management and Transportation Policy

  • _____ Employment, Training, Vocational Education, and Welfare to Work

  • You may get copies of these studies by e-mailing a request to <chenningfeld@library.ca.gov> (Christie Henningfeld oversees the State Library's Capitol office), by calling 319-2691, or by stopping by room 5210 in the Capitol.

  • If you would like us to try to get other studies, please e-mail information about each study you want to <chenningfeld@library.ca.gov>.

  • Please use the same avenues if you want to be off the distribution lists.

  • The list which follows shows only current additions to the collection. If you would like a cumulative list, or a cumulative list for only selected topics, please e-mail <chenningfeld@library.ca.gov>.
The following studies are currently on hand:

CRIMINAL JUSTICE & LAW ENFORCEMENT

CHILD ABUSE

Keeping the Promise of a Safe Home for Northern California's Children: The Impact on Child Abuse and Future Crime of Capping Federal Foster Care Funds. By William Christeson and others. (Fight Crime: Invest in Kids California, Oakland, California) 2005. 20 p.

Full Text at: www.fightcrime.org/ca/fostercare/cafostercare.pdf

["Proposals to cap federal foster care funding would threaten the safety of abused and neglected children and public safety in Northern California. The methamphetamine epidemic and other factors continue to increase the need for foster homes in Northern California. Research shows that when children are re-abused or neglected instead of being placed in safe foster homes they are more likely to become violent criminals. This report discusses Representative Wally Herger's proposal to cap federal payments for foster homes, focusing on the impact capping foster care would have on Northern California."]

[Request #S50901]

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ECONOMY

CHILDREN

The Economics of Investing in Universal Preschool Education in California. By Lynn A. Karoly and James H. Bigelow, RAND Labor and Population, the RAND Corporation. Prepared for The David and Lucile Packard Foundation. (The Corporation, Santa Monica, California) 2005. 238 p.

["There is increased interest in California and other states in providing universal access to publicly funded preschool education. In considering such a program, policymakers and the public focus on the potential benefits and costs of such a program. This study aims to inform such deliberations by conducting an analysis of the economic returns from investing in high-quality preschool education in the state of California." NOTE: The Economics of Investing ... will be available for 3-day loan.]

Research Brief. 3 p.:
http://www.rand.org/publications/RB/RB9118/RAND_RB9118.pdf

Executive Summary. 33 p.:
http://www.rand.org/pubs/monographs/2005/RAND_MG349.1.pdf

Full Report. 238 p.:
http://www.rand.org/pubs/monographs/2005/RAND_MG349.pdf

[Request #S50902]

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ECONOMIC POLICY

Stability and Change in Child Care and Employment: Evidence from Three States. By Cynthia Miller, MDRC. The Next Generation Working Paper Series. No. 20. (MDRC, New York, New York) March 2005. 38 p.

Full Text at: www.mdrc.org/publications/406/full.pdf

["This paper, reporting on data from over 3,500 women in welfare-to-work programs in three states, found that child care instability did not appear to be a major cause of employment instability. It also found that child care use among the women who participated in the study was continuous, even though the specific type of care provided sometimes changed. Though findings do not suggest that child care instability should be ignored, the study concludes that employment retention programs should also focus on additional barriers to keeping jobs, such as low education levels and limited work histories."]

[Request #S50903]

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EDUCATION

HEAD START

"Head Start's Lasting Benefits." By W. Steven Barnett and Jason T. Hustedt. IN: Infants and Young Children, vol. 18, no. 1 (2005) pp. 16-24.

Full Text at: depts.washington.edu/isei/review/barnett_hustedt.pdf

["The benefits of Head Start are under increased scrutiny as Congress debates its reauthorization.... There has been a good deal of controversy over whether Head Start produces lasting benefits, dating back to its early years. Our review finds mixed, but generally positive, evidence regarding Head Start?s long-term benefits. Although studies typically find that increases in IQ fade out over time, many other studies also find decreases in grade retention and special education placements. Sustained increases in school achievement are sometimes found, but in other cases flawed research methods produce results that mimic fade-out.... Early Head Start demonstrated modest improvements in children?s development and parent beliefs and behavior."]

[Request #S50906]

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Head Start: Comprehensive Approach to Identifying and Addressing Risks Could Help Prevent Grantee Financial Management Weakness. By U.S. Government Accountability Office. GAO-05-176. (The Office, Washington, DC) February 2005. 54 p.

Full Text at: www.gao.gov/cgi-bin/getrpt?GAO-05-176

["In this report, GAO provides information on whether (1) Health and Human Services' Administration for Children and Families (ACF) can consistently identify financial management weaknesses, if any, in Head Start grantees and (2) ACF ensures that grantees effectively resolve any problems, in a timely manner, when detected."]

[Request #S50907]

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"Scrutiny Mounts for Head Start." By Brian Friel. IN: National Journal, vol. 37, no. 8 (February 19, 2005) pp. 539-541.

["Designed to help the nation's neediest children prepare socially, emotionally, and academically for school, Head Start is facing unaccustomed scrutiny ... as Congress debates legislation reauthorizing the program. Critics question Head Start's effectiveness in preparing kids for school and its management of funds.... The Bush administration has already begun its own plans for a national test, called the National Reporting System.... The test finds that Head Start helps kids move up but doesn't entirely close the gap between poor children and wealthier children."]

[Request #S50908]

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SCHOOL READINESS

Readiness: School, Family, and Community Connections: Annual Synthesis 2004. By Martha Beothel, National Center for Family and Community Connections with Schools. (Southwest Educational Development Laboratory, Austin, Texas) 2004. 125 p.

Full Text at: www.sedl.org/connections/resources/readiness-synthesis.pdf

[" This report discusses research on what contributes to children's school readiness and success, as well as the effectiveness of early childhood interventions with a family focus." Action Alliance for Children Master Calendar (January 31, 2005).]

[Request #S50910]

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Many Happy Returns: Three Economic Models that Make the Case for School Readiness. By Charles Bruner, State Early Childhood Policy Technical Assistance Network. (The Network, Des Moines, Iowa) 2004. 24 p.

Full Text at: www.finebynine.org/pdf/SECPTAN_MHR_final.pdf

["There has been increasingly recognition of the potential economic value of investments made in the early learning years. This report provides a concise summary of two types of economic modeling that have been used to show these economic returns: 1) returns through improved child development and reduced social costs and increased productivity; and 2) returns from the economic activity provided by the child care industry itself. It describes these returns and summarizes the findings from seminal studies in each of these modeling areas. The report then presents a third potential return, related to increasing the skills and compensation of the early learning workforce."]

[Request #S50912]

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TEACHER DEVELOPMENT

Achieving a High-Quality Preschool Teacher Corps: A Focus on California. By Miriam Calderon, National Council of La Raza. Issue Brief. No. 14 (The Council, Washington, DC) 2005. 24 p.

Full Text at: www.nclr.org/content/publications/download/29957?PHPSESSID=16e1bc3d0164062450279e63009543e9

["A new report on preschool in California from the National Council of La Raza finds that California must do more to ensure that its preschool teachers can effectively meet the needs of Latino children. Specifically, the report recommends that the state build on the skills of its current teachers, develop an aggressive recruitment strategy within diverse communities, and create an educational infrastructure that helps people from these communities meet higher teacher degree requirements." Connect for Kids (March 14, 2005).]

[Request #S50913]

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HEALTH

ACCESS TO CARE

California Voters Want All Children to Have Health Insurance. By John Fairbank and Ben Tulchin, Fairbank, Maslin, Maullin and Associates. (California Endowment, Woodland Hills, California) March 7, 2005. 3 p.

Full Text at: www.calendow.org/news/press_releases/2005/03/032205memo.pdf

["About 70% of state voters surveyed support increased taxes to provide health insurance to all children, according to this poll of about 1200 likely state voters. Respondents generally favored raising taxes on hard liquor, soda and candy, tobacco and state residents whose annual incomes exceed more than $1 million annually to fund expanded health coverage for children. Respondents also said they supported eliminating some corporate tax benefits to help fund the health care coverage expansion. According to the poll, 63% of Republicans and 89% of Democrats favored guaranteeing health insurance to all children. The poll found that Hispanics and blacks were about 15% more likely than whites to support universal health coverage for children." California Healthline (March 23, 2005).]

[Request #S50917]

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AUTISM

"Health: Unlocking the Mystery of Autism." IN: Newsweek, vol. 145, no. 9 (February 28, 2005) pp. 44-53.

["Scientists are now looking for the earliest signs of the mysterious disorder as desperate parents hunt for treatments that may improve their children's lives."]

"When Does Autism Start?" By Claudia Kalb. pp. 44-53.

"Willing the World to Listen." By Suzanne Wright. p. 47.

"What to Watch For." pp. 48-49.

"My Mind Began to Wake Up." By Melinda Henneberger. pp. 52-53.

[Request #S50914]

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BRAIN

Public Health and Economic Consequences of Methylmercury Toxicity to the Developing Brain [Issue Theme]. By Leonardo Trasande and others. Environmental Health Perspectives Online. (National Institute of Environmental Health Sciences, Research Triangle Park, North Carolina) February 28, 2005. 44 p.

Full Text at: ehp.niehs.nih.gov/members/2005/7743/7743.pdf

["This study calculated that the U.S. loses $8.7 billion annually due to the impact of mercury on children's brain development. $1.3 billion of the economic losses from mercury pollution is directly attributable to mercury emitted by coal-fired power plants. Mercury emitted from power plants is absorbed by fish and eaten by women [and is then] passed onto their children in utero. Scientists have documented that mercury exposure impairs brain development and reduces IQ."]

[Request #S50911]

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Children's Emotional Development is Built into the Architecture of Their Brains. By the National Scientific Council on the Developing Child, Brandeis University. Working Paper No. 2. (The Council, Waltham, Massachusetts) 2005. 12 p.

Full Text at: www.developingchild.net/papers/workingpaperII.pdf

["A growing body of scientific evidence tells us that emotional development begins early in life, that it is a critical aspect of the development of overall brain architecture and that it has enormous consequences over the course of a lifetime.... Disregarding this critical aspect of the developing child can lead parents and policy makers to underestimate its importance and to ignore the foundation that emotions establish for later growth and development. Thus, it is essential that young children's feelings get the same level of attention as their thinking. In fact, learning to manage emotions is more difficult for some children than learning to count or read and may, in some cases, be an early warning sign of future psychological problems. The failure to address difficulties in this equally important domain can result in missed opportunities for interventions."]

[Request #S50915]

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Mercury and the Developing Brain. By Clear the Air. (Clear the Air, Washington, DC) March 2005. 19 p.

Full Text at: www.pewtrusts.org/pdf/CTA_Mercury_0205.pdf

["Children are most vulnerable to mercury exposure, whether exposed in utero or as young children. Mercury affects the developing brain, causing neurological problems that manifest themselves as vision and hearing difficulties, delays in the development of motor skills and language acquisition, and later, lowered IQ points, problems with memory and attention deficits. These developmental deficits may translate into a wide range of learning difficulties once children are in school. This report explains the sources of mercury in the environment and how people are exposed."]

[Request #S50916]

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DENTAL CARE

A For Effort: Making the Grade in Oral Health. By Oral Health America Special Grading Project. (Oral Health America, Chicago, Illinois) February 2005. 13 p.

Full Text at: www.calendow.org/reference/publications/pdf/disparities/CaliforniaMakingProgressinOralHealth.pdf

["Eight states, including California, recently received 'A' grades for their progress promoting oral health. The report details innovative programs that have the potential for greatly improving the nation's lackluster overall 'C' grade in oral health. Two projects funded by The California Endowment are highlighted as critical factors in California's improved oral health."]

[Request #S50918]

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ENVIRONMENTAL TOXINS

"What's in You?" By Douglas Fischer. IN: Oakland Tribune (March 8, 2005) 7 p.

["He's a typical kid from a typical family, picked for an Oakland Tribune investigation of chemical pollutants in our bodies. The surprising result, scientists say, suggests infants and toddlers have vastly higher levels of some chemical pollutants than health officials suspect ? or even consider safe.... It's the result, scientists say, of 50 years of increasing reliance on synthetic chemicals for every facet of our daily lives.... We are guinea pigs when it comes to the unknown long-term threat these chemicals pose in our bodies and, in particular, our children."]

[Request #S50919]

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"Air Pollution and Birth Weight Among Term Infants in California." By Jennifer D. Parker, National Center for Health Statistics, and others. IN: Pediatrics, vol. 115, no. 1 (January 2005) pp. 121-128.

["Pregnant women who live in areas with high levels of air pollution may give birth to slightly smaller babies, according to this study of more than 18,000 full-term infants born in California in 2000. It found that a mother's exposure to fine-particle air pollution seemed to make a difference in her baby's birth weight and the infant's risk of being below average in size. Fine particulate matter, called PM2.5 by scientists, is composed of microscopic substances such as acids, metals and organic chemicals, and can be seen in the form of a hazy sky. It is given off by the burning of fuels from sources such as cars, power plants and some industrial processes. Reuters Health (January 4, 2005) online.]

[Request #S50922]

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IMMUNIZATIONS

"Timeliness of Childhood Vaccinations in the United States." By Elizabeth T. Luman, Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, and others. IN: Journal of the American Medical Association, vol. 293, no. 10 (March 9, 2005) pp. 1204-1211.

["More than 1 in 3 children were undervaccinated for more than 6 months during their first 24 months of life and 1 in 4 children were delayed for at least 4 vaccines. Standard measures of vaccination coverage mask substantial shortfalls in ensuring that recommendations are followed regarding age at vaccination throughout the first 24 months of life."]

[Request #S50920]

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INFANT MORTALITY

Explaining the 2001-02 Infant Mortality Increase: Data From the Linked Birth/Infant Death Data Set. By Marian F. MacDorman and others, National Center for Health Statistics, Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, U.S. Department of Health and Human Services. National Vital Statistics Reports, Vol. 53, No. 12 (The Centers, Atlanta, Georgia) January 24, 2005. 23 p.

Full Text at: www.cdc.gov/nchs/data/nvsr/nvsr53/nvsr53_12.pdf

["The U.S. infant mortality rate has risen for the first time in more than 40 years, in large part because more women gave birth to low-birthweight infants who died before age one, according to a CDC report.... Researchers for the most part ruled out race, advanced maternal age and multiple births as reasons for the increase in infant mortality because the death rates rose among all racial groups, the majority of deaths occurred among infants born to women ages 20 to 34 and the infant mortality rate among multiple-birth infants declined in 2002." California Healthline (January 25, 2005).]

[Request #S50925]

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INFANTS

21st-Century Challenges to Young Children's Health [Issue Theme.] Zero To Three. Vol. 25, No. 3. (Zero To Three: National Center for Infants, Toddlers, and Families, Washington, DC) January 2005. pp. 1-56.

[Includes: "The Life Course Health Development Model: A Guide to Children's Health Care Policy and Practice;" "What Can We Do to Prevent Childhood Obesity;" "Dental Disease in Infants and Toddlers: A Transdisciplinary Health Concern and Approach;" and others. NOTE: Zero To Three is available for 3-day loan.]

[Request #S50921]

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MENTAL HEALTH

From Promise to Practice: Mental Health Models that Work for Children and Youth. By Fight Crime: Invest in Kids California. (Fight Crime: Invest in Kids California, Oakland, California) 2005. 24 p.

Full Text at: www.fightcrime.org/ca/toolkit/fcikcatoolkit.pdf

["This Toolkit was published to describe proven and promising programs that meet the mental health needs of children and youth. The passage of Proposition 63, the Mental Health Services Act, presents an historic opportunity to fund these strategies that will help young people succeed in life and prevent juvenile crime."]

[Request #S50923]

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Children's Mental Health: An Overview and Key Considerations for Health System Stakeholders. Issue Paper. By the National Institute for Healthcare Management. (The Institute, Washington, DC) 2005. 28 p.

Full Text at: www.nihcm.org/CMHReport-FINAL.pdf

["This paper presents facts about current mental health services and key policy considerations for promoting and advancing comprehensive mental health systems for children and adolescents. It provides background information on children's mental health, and discusses financing mental health services for children and adolescents, building systems to support mental health needs, and selected national initiatives. A conclusion, information on evidence and issues for specific mental health treatments for children and adolescents, and links to additional resources are also provided." MCH Alert (March 18, 2005) online.]

[Request #S50924]

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OBESITY

"Childhood Obesity: What We Can Learn from Existing Data on Societal Trends." By Roland Sturm. IN: Preventing Chronic Disease: Public Health Research, Practice, and Policy.

["The number of overweight and obese youth has increased in recent decades, and numerous theories on causes have been proposed. Yet almost no data are available to assess how the lives of children have changed during the 'obesity epidemic.' This study found the following: 1) the free time of children has substantially declined because of increased time away from home, primarily in school, day care, and after-school programs; 2) participation in organized activities (including sports) has also increased; 3) unstructured playtime has decreased to make room for organized activities; 4) time spent in some sedentary activities like watching television, participating in conversations, or taking part in other passive leisure activities also declined just when obesity became a major concern; and 5) increases in homework have not caused decreases in free time, contradicting a common belief in education circles." RAND Child Policy Update (March 30, 2005).]

Part 1. (January 2005) pp. 1-9.:
http://www.cdc.gov/pcd/issues/2005/jan/pdf/04_0038.pdf

Part 2. (April 2005) pp. 1-9.:
http://www.cdc.gov/pcd/issues/2005/apr/pdf/04_0039.pdf

[Request #S50909]

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Financing Childhood Obesity Prevention Programs: Federal Funding Sources and Other Strategies. By the Finance Project. (The Project, Washington, DC) September 2004. 65 p.

Full Text at: www.financeprojectinfo.org/publications/obesityprevention.pdf

["This guide profiles federal funding sources that can be used to support obesity prevention strategies from communities utilizing these funds, and key considerations to help leaders develop financing plans to meet their program goals."]

[Request #S50926]

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"Weighing in on the Issue of Childhood Obesity." By Cynthia Lunn-Grabe and James L. Hoot. IN: Childhood Education: Infancy Through Early Adolescence, vol. 81, no. 2 (Winter 2004/05) pp. 70-76.

["This article focuses on overweight children and the role that educators (and schools) might play in supporting and reinforcing this unhealthful lifestyle. Included are strategies for promoting more healthful eating and activity habits. The article concludes with a list of resources offering additional help in addressing this growing threat."]

[Request #S50927]

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HUMAN SERVICES

CHILD CARE

Many Young Children Spend Long Hours in Child Care. By Jeffrey Capizzano and Regan Main. Snapshots3 of America's Families. No. 22. (Urban Institute, Washington, DC) April 2005. 2 p.

Full Text at: www.urban.org/UploadedPDF/311154_snapshots3_no22.pdf

["Forty-two percent of children under age 5 with employed mothers spent at least 35 hours a week in child care in 2002.1 The proportion is even greater (50.6 percent) among children whose mothers worked full-time. These findings reinforce the important role that child care plays in the lives of America's youngest children and the need for policymakers to pay close attention to the quality of that care."]

[Request #S50928]

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CHILDREN

Infants, Toddlers, and Child Welfare. By Zero to Three Policy Center. Fact Sheet. (Zero to Three, Washington, DC) 2004. 13 p.

Full Text at: www.zerotothree.org/policy/factsheets/cw.pdf

["The impact of child abuse and neglect is greatest among very young children, who are extremely vulnerable to the effects of maltreatment. If not properly addressed, the emotional, developmental, and physical health complications that result from abuse and neglect of infants and toddlers can have lifelong implications. This concern is compounded by the fact that infants are the fastest growing category of children entering foster care in the United States." Child Bureau Express (March 2005).]

[Request #S50929]

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The Cost of Protecting Vulnerable Children IV: How Child Welfare Funding Fared During the Recession. By Cynthia Andrews Scarcella and others. (Urban Institute, Washington, DC) 2004. 192 p.

Full Text at: www.urban.org/UploadedPDF/411115_VulnerableChildrenIV.pdf

["Child welfare agencies provide a safety net for abused and neglected children and children at risk of abuse and neglect. Federal, state, and local government funding supports these services, but the amount of funding from these sources varies greatly by state and can be affected by national and state-specific events. This report examines states' financing of child welfare services, analyzing how the funds were used and how funding has shifted since 1996's welfare overhaul. The study, fourth in a series, profiles all 50 states and the District of Columbia."]

[Request #S50930]

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Border Kids Count: A Snapshot of Children Living on the Southwest Border. By the Annie E. Casey Foundation. (The Foundation, Baltimore, Maryland) 2005. 14 p.

Full Text at: www.aecf.org/publications/data/border_pocket_guide.pdf

["This study provides state- and county-level data on children living along the southwest border, including demographics, health, parental employment, education, language fluency, foreign-born status, and poverty." Action Alliance for Children News Bulletin (March 30, 2005).]

[Request #S50931]

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2005 Santa Clara County Children?s Report: Key Indicators of Well-Being. By Lucile Packard Foundation. (The Foundation, Los Altos, California) 2005. 72 p.

Full Text at: www.scvmed.org/scc/assets/docs/822310Final_2005_Childrens_Report-2-11-05.pdf

[?Santa Clara County children may live in one of the wealthiest areas of the country, but their physical health and emotional well-being are poorer than many child advocates would like. In this report ? a portrait emerges of the complicated and unhealthful lives many lead. Drug and alcohol use are widespread, depression and obesity are prevalent, and rape, gang violence and poverty are constants in many children's lives. While the report found that child abuse and teen pregnancy rates are on the decline, along with teen smoking rates, it also makes it clear that Beaver Cleaver doesn't live here.? San Jose Mercury News (March 4, 2005) 1.]

[Request #S50932]

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The Foundation for Child Development Index of Child Well-Being (CWI), 1975-2003 with Projections for 2004. By Kenneth C. Land. (Foundation for Child Development, New York, New York) 2005.

Full Text at: www.fcd-us.org/PDFs/2005CWI-Report-Final.pdf

["This report presents a mixed picture of child well-being in the United States, with both positive and negative trends. Most notably, substantial and dramatic improvements in safety and risky behavior among young people, especially since 1993, contrast with recent declines in health and economic well-being. Educational attainment remains static despite two decades of effort by federal policy makers. Overall child well-being improved only fractionally, from 104.48 in 2002 to 104.56 in 2003 - a gain of just 4.5 percent over the base year of 1975."]

Full Report. 17 p.:
http://www.fcd-us.org/PDFs/2005CWI-Report-Final.pdf

Implications for Policymakers. 8 p.:
http://www.fcd-us.org/PDFs/2005CWIPolicyBrief.pdf

Fact Sheet. 1 p.:
http://www.fcd-us.org/PDFs/FINALCWIFACTSHEET.pdf

[Request #S50933]

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FOSTER CARE

Creating Threads of Continuity: Helping Infants and Toddlers Through Transitions in Foster Care. By the National Abandoned Infants Assistance Resource Center. The Source. Vol. 13, No. 2. (The Center, Berkeley, California) Fall 2004. 4 p.

Full Text at: aia.berkeley.edu/media/pdf/source_vol13_no2.pdf

["The National Abandoned Infants Assistance Resource Center focuses on the theme of transitions for infants and toddlers who are moving to a new caregiver situation. It examines the typical child welfare experience, young children's experience of disruption and loss, and the experience of parents and caregivers. Approaches that can create 'threads of continuity' for transitioning children are described."]

[Request #S50934]

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Foster Care Adoption in the United States: A State by State Analysis of Barriers & Promising Approaches. By the Urban Institute Child Welfare Research Program. (The Program, Washington, DC) November 2004. 122 p.

Full Text at: www.urban.org/UploadedPDF/411108_FosterCareAdoption.pdf

["By compiling a State-by-State analysis of the data, highlighting both the barriers that States face and the promising approaches that many have developed in their efforts to place children from foster care into permanent adoptive homes. In addition, this report condenses the Child and Family Services Reviews (CFSR) information on foster care adoption into an easily readable format that highlights both national trends and State practices."]

[Request #S50935]

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LOW INCOME

Building Bridges to Self-Sufficiency: Improving Services for Low-Income Working Families. By Jennifer Miller, MRDC, and others. (MRDC, New York, New York) 2004. 95 p.

Full Text at: www.mdrc.org/publications/385/full.pdf

["This report is aimed at state and local policymakers and practitioners who are concerned about improving the labor market prospects for low-wage workers and the well-being of their families ? while, at the same time, addressing two bottom-line issues for employers: reducing job turnover and increasing workers? skill levels. The report accomplishes this by identifying promising strategies to increase family income in both the short-term and the long-term ? strategies that can also increase job retention and reduce employee turnover."]

[Request #S50936]

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SOCIAL SECURITY

Social Security: The Most Important Anti-Poverty Program for Children. By Heather Boushey, Center for Economic and Policy Research. (The Center, Washington, DC) March 28, 2005. 4 p.

Full Text at: www.cepr.net/publications/social_security_children_2005_03.pdf

["During the Social Security debates, proponents of privatization often focus on the need for a 'secure retirement system for future generations' and 'saving Social Security for sake of our children.' However, the current Social Security system is already the country?s most important anti-poverty program for the nation?s children. This study found that more low-income children live in families that receive a Social Security check than in families that receive a check from the Temporary Assistance to Needy Families (TANF) program." CEPR Press Release (March 29, 2005).]

[Request #S50937]

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STUDIES TO COME
[The following studies, reports, and documents have been ordered or requested, but have not yet arrived. Requests may be placed, and copies will be provided when the material arrives.]

HEALTH

MENTAL HEALTH

"Quality of Publicly-funded Outpatient Specialty Mental Health Care for Common Childhood Psychiatric Disorders in California." By Zima, Bonnie and others. IN: Journal of the American Academy of Child and Adolescent Psychiatry, vol. 44, no. 2 (February 2005) pp. 130-144.

["A first-ever look at the quality of publicly funded mental health care for tens of thousands of California's neediest children has exposed serious gaps.... Among the findings: Only half of the children were screened for suspected child abuse, a quarter of the cases had no consent form allowing the doctor to share information with the patients' teachers or caseworkers, and only half of the records indicated that the parents or other family members had been included in counseling services. Most concerning to researchers, however, was the lack of medical exams and routine monitoring of medication use. Children with ADHD are widely prescribed stimulant medication and those with depression are often given antidepressants, some of which are not approved by the FDA for use in children." Sacramento Bee (January 20, 2005) A1.]

[Request #S50938]

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HUMAN SERVICES

FOSTER CARE

"The Early Intervention Foster Care Program: Permanent Placement Outcomes from a Randomized Trial." By Philip A. Fisher and others, Oregon Social Learning Center. IN: Child Maltreatment, vol. 10, no. 1 (February 2005) pp. 61-71.

["Preschool-aged foster children face multiple risks for poor long-term outcomes. These risks appear to increase with the number of placement changes experienced. The Early Intervention Foster Care Program (EIFC) targets the spectrum of challenges that preschool-aged foster children face via a team approach delivered in home and community settings. In this article, we report on permanent placement outcomes from the EIFC randomized clinical trial. Children in EIFC had significantly fewer failed permanent placements than children in the regular foster care comparison condition. The number of prior placements was positively associated with the risk of failed permanent placements for children in the comparison condition but not for children in EIFC. Type of prior maltreatment did not predict permanent placement outcomes. These results provide the foundation of an evidence base for the EIFC program as a preventive intervention to improve permanent placement outcomes for preschool-aged foster children."]

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