This is a new monthly newsletter from National Crittenton highlighting the latest news and research focused on how public systems impact, and are impacted by, girls, young women, and gender non-conforming youth.
If you have news or research that should be included, or comments and suggestions, you can send them to firstname.lastname@example.org.
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How TANF Restrictions Impact Child Welfare
“After filing a restraining order against my ex-husband, a social worker came by for a home visit and the first thing she did was look in the fridge.” A new study investigates how state restrictions on Temporary Assistance for Needy Families eligibility impact the child welfare system in Kansas, Georgia, and Arizona. Dr. Michelle Johnson-Motoyama: “We were interested in investigating harsh sanctions on TANF in particular and what kind of effects they had on foster care and child abuse reports for all forms of maltreatment, but specifically for neglect. And as it turns out, these caseload measures are the mirror image of each other.”
Right to Representation
Rachel Blustain: “Despite… potential benefits and the relatively low cost, Mississippi remains one of six states that has failed to enshrine in state law the right to an attorney in any stage of child-welfare proceedings. […] An estimated one in nine black children and one in seven Native-American children will spend time in foster care by the time they turn 18.”
Maura Dolan: “A federal appeals court decided unanimously Monday that minor immigrants who are in the country without legal authorization are not entitled to government-paid lawyers in hearings that could lead to their deportation.”
Still Waiting on Congress
Funding for the Maternal, Infant and Early Childhood Home Visiting program expired in September. Chronicle for Social Change spoke to advocates about the potential impact of MIECHV not being reauthorized. The majority of caregivers utilizing MIECHV-funded programs are younger than 25.
Toxic Stress and Suspensions in Schools
Dr. Nadine Burke Harris’ book The Deepest Well: Healing the Long-Term Effects of Childhood Adversity was released on January 23. She spoke with NPR about how toxic stress impacts young people and the implications for schools. Read an excerpt of her book here.
A new investigation by USA Today Network – Wisconsin found black students in Green Bay schools accounted for 29% of total suspensions, despite making up 9% of the student body. At one middle school nearly 60% of black students had been suspended. Black Youth Alliance-WI coordinator Robin Tinnon talked to Green Bay Press Gazette about how black girls experience disproportionate school discipline.
A new study by Joel Mittleman in Education Researcher found teenage girls reporting same-sex attraction experienced higher rates of school discipline than girls who reported only being attracted to boys, as well as higher rates of ADHD diagnosis.
“Intimate Feelings and Imposed Stereotypes”
Patricia Williams writes in The Times Literary Supplement about how a culture of marginalizing black girls’ voices and interior lives connects to the practice of their marginalization and criminalization by systems: “The collective cultural suppression of black girls’ complex emotional and intellectual lives has been accomplished by crude ideologies that diminish the cognitive capacities of us all.”
- “In that school, we have changed the curriculum.” Thirteen-year-old Marley Dias on the importance of having books with protagonists who are girls of color, especially in classrooms
- Cyntoia Brown and the years lost by juvenile lifers
- Tackling the “tampon tax” and access to menstrual hygiene products with policy
- How might our political priorities shift if we began the State of the Union with black girlhood at the center?
- Watch: Young Women’s Freedom Center is investing in the leadership of young women from the margins to reimagine freedom and transform the world
- Andrea Ritchie on the systemic problem of police sexual misconduct
- “Since late 2016, doctors and service providers have reported anecdotally that they have seen more children exhibiting stress- and anxiety-related behavioral changes, including symptoms of ‘toxic-stress,’ due to fear that a family member will be deported.”
- New report from Rights4Girls: Survivor Protection: Reducing The Risk Of Trauma To Child Sex Trafficking Victims
- GirlsLEAD Summit (Washington DC, 3/9)
- National Conference on Juvenile Justice (San Diego CA, 3/18-21)
- National Summit on Youth Homelessness (Washington DC, 3/19-20)
- PACE All About Girls Summit (Orlando FL, 3/22-23)
- Know Her Truths Conference (Winston-Salem NC, 3/22-23)
“Our research uncovered no School Resource Officer training curricula specifically related to girls of color, and few data collection protocols that would provide schools and police departments with sufficient information to expose inequitable patterns or practices involving girls of color and to hold officials accountable.”
From the report “Be Her Resource: A Toolkit About School Resource Officers & Girls of Color” by Monique W. Morris, Rebecca Epstein, and Aishatu Yusuf
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