Policy Matters

Things that are not specific to Alliance legislation but of relevance to the policy team

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Invisible Achievement Gap, Part 2 Released

A new study was released last month, finding that California’s foster youth fare worse educationally depending on where they are placed, the number of placements they’ve had, and their length of stay in foster care. The Invisible Achievement Gap, Part 2 by the Center for the Future of Teaching and Learning at WestEd and the…

California Focuses on Reducing Child Poverty

Budget cuts in the past few years have poked serious holes in our state’s safety net programs supporting foster children. But, after years of cuts, California is now recovering from the recession and looks forward to a surplus in the coming year. Recognizing the need to balance both ensure stability and expand opportunities, the Assembly Democratic Caucus…

Millions of American’s Face Food Insecurity

On November 1, food stamp benefits, known formally as the Supplemental Nutrition and Assistance Program (SNAP), were cut by over $5 billion. As a result of the cuts, a family of four who previously would have received $668 a month will now only receive $632. While this may seem like a small difference, it means…

Lack of Funding for Post-Reunification Services Could Reduce Permanency

In October 2013, The State Policy Advocacy and Reform Center (SPARC) released Reunification of Foster Children with their Families: The First Permanency Outcome, a brief examining the outcomes of children who exit foster care to reunification along with recommendations on improving these outcomes. According to national data from the annual Child Welfare Outcomes Report, many…

Recent Study Links Child Maltreatment to Self-Sufficiency Gap

A study conducted in California over seven years that examined the relationship between unemployment and child maltreatment was recently published, and showed rather surprising results. The study encompassed all 58 counties of California, with a special emphasis on San Mateo, covering the period from 2005 to 2012, which notably includes the years of the deep…

Invisible Education Achievement Gap Between Foster Youth & Peers

“The Invisible Achievement Gap,” a landmark study funded by The Stuart Foundation, was released this October. The report, which connects statewide education data to child welfare data, is titled thus because its findings show that children in the foster care system often have specialized education needs that go unrecognized and unmet, leading them to fall…

New Look at Official Federal Measures of Poverty

A recently released study conducted by researchers from the Public Policy Institute of California and the Stanford Center on Poverty and Inequality utilized a new model, called the California Poverty Measure, to offer a more accurate and complete picture of poverty in California by taking into account factors ignored by the official U.S. Census Bureau…

Plan Aims to Better Protect the Children of Detained or Deported Immigrants

On August 23, 2013, U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement issued a directive on “Facilitating Parental Interests in the Course of Immigration Enforcement Activities,” otherwise known as the Parental Interest Directive. The directive was issued as a result of the growing number of children holding U.S. citizenship whose parents have been detained or deported. This situation…

Supporting Relatives Improves Care for At-Risk Children

A primary goal of our child welfare system is to keep children with family where they are more likely to be comfortable and thrive. Another goal is to meet children’s individualized needs with appropriate services and supports. Yet when children are placed with family, their services and supports are not based on need. The numbers…