Child Welfare Watch News Digest -- October 31, 2013

Here's a roundup of this week's news on low-income children, youth and their families:

  • Represent Magazine’s fall issue features new stories by foster youth, including one young woman’s struggles as she aged out of foster care and transitioned to being on her own.

  • In The New York Times’ Fixes column, David Bornstein examines toxic stress in children and how we can protect them from its effects. “What the science is telling us now is how experience gets into the brain as it’s developing its basic architecture,” explains Dr. Jack Shonkoff, director of the Center on the Developing Child at Harvard University. “These insights provide an opportunity to think about new ways we might try to reduce the academic achievement gap and health disparities — and not just do the same old things.” (For Child Welfare Watch's recent report on toxic stress and New York's youngest children, click here.)

  • Nicholas Kristof’s October 27 column highlighted the multiple benefits of early childhood education, acknowledging  that “growing mountains of research suggest that the best way to address American economic inequality, poverty and crime is...early education programs.”

  • In “Out of Foster Care, Into College,” Michael Winerip chronicles foster youth in college and the support programs colleges that are helping them succeed.

  • A new study published in Developmental Science shows that language discrepancies between children of wealthier parents and their low-income counterparts begins even earlier. According to the study, the language gap can be observed in children as young as 18 months old, much earlier than had been previously observed.


  • November 12 - Mathematica Policy Research will host a forum on housing supports for youth aging out of foster care. The forum is being held in partnership with the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development and U.S. Department of Health and Human Services.

  • November 13 - The federal Coordinating Council on Juvenile Justice and Delinquency Prevention will meet to discuss the Affordable Care Act (ACA) and its implications for adolescent and young adult populations, including youth transitioning from juvenile justice and child welfare systems.