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Youth Policy News - May 2013

May edition of Youth Policy News

A New Opportunity for Florida Communities

The Forum is offering a package of free training to help local policy leaders learn how to create a single, cohesive set of community-wide supports for children and families. Through the Ready by 21 Florida Community Challenge, the Forum will provide selected cities and counties with tools, strategies and technical assistance to achieve collective impact for young people.


Applicants are encouraged to gather diverse teams of local leaders. For example, teams may include mayors, city managers, county executives, agency heads and council members, as well as leaders from United Ways, foundations and schools. The training includes a webinar, a two-day learning institute in Florida and follow-up. Stay tuned for updates from the Florida Challenge. To inquire about bringing this training to your state, contact Hannah Lythe at Hannah@forumfyi.org.


South Carolina Shows How to Find Cost-Savings

Improving youth outcomes doesn't always require more money. The Joint Citizens and Legislative Committee on Children has identified a set of focus areas to improve youth outcomes while reducing government costs.


The committee held a series of town hall meetings with citizens and community leaders. It also administered a survey among the General Assembly. The following arose as top concerns: school readiness, preventable childhood obesity, childhood fatalities and injuries, childhood trauma and immunizations.


The committee, staffed by the Children's Law Center, analyzed each of these areas and made specific recommendations in its 2013 Annual Report. For example, the committee proposed a cross-agency collaborative effort to offer more locally-grown, nutritious foods throughout the school day and to implement a statewide immunization registry. The committee is made up of state legislators and appointed citizens, along with ex officio members from the state's child- and youth- serving state agencies.


Youth Encourage Florida to Refocus Foster Care, Extend to Age 21

"With this legislation, which is truly the voice of our young people, our [foster] youth will have the same opportunity as our own children to be successful adults." - David Wilkins, Chairman of the Florida Children and Youth Cabinet and Secretary of the Department of Children and Families


With strong support from the Independent Living Services Advisory Council (ILSAC), the Florida legislature passed a bill to redesign the foster care independent living program by a nearly unanimous vote (38-0 in the Senate and 116-1 in the House). The bill gives young adults the option to remain in foster care until age 21 in order to finish high school, earn a GED, pursue post-secondary education or begin a career. In addition, the bill improves the foster system by strengthening the role of foster parents, restructuring the Road-to-Independence Program and empowering caregivers to provide high quality, nurturing parenting for children in foster care.


The ILSAC is an 18-member body made up of youth and young adults with experience in the foster care system. Led by Cyndee Odom, former member of the Ready by 21 Leadership Council, the ILSAC gained input from thousands of foster youth throughout the state, who described the unique challenges they face.


Exploration of Social Impact Bonds Continues

New research on social impact bonds (SIBs) and related "pay for performance" models continues to pour in. For this reason, the Federal Reserve Bank of San Francisco created a special issue of its journal, Community Development Investment Review, to focus on the subject. Articles of interest include "Making Performance-Based Contracting Work for Kids and Families", written by two staff at Youth Village, and "Supporting At-Risk Youth: A Provider's Perspective on Pay for Success" by Lili Elkins of Roca, Inc. Additionally, MDRC - a leader in how to improve programs and policies that affect low-income communities - proposes ways to move the conversation beyond cost-savings to innovation.

For more information about Youth Policy News, contact Danielle Evennou, Policy Manager at the Forum for Youth Investment, danielle@forumfyi.org, 202.207.3712

Publishing Date: 
May 13, 2013