August 2017
Youth Policy  NEWS
Highlighting innovative youth-focused policy work at the local, state and federal levels.

In  Investing in the Next Generation: A Bottom-Up Approach to Creating Better Outcomes for Children and Youth , Bruce Katz and Ross Tilchin discuss the role of "new localism" in providing the cradle to career interventions necessary to ensure successful outcomes for America's children and youth. After discussing the disparity between increased need for programming for children and youth and reduced federal and state funding on such programming, Katz and Tilchin make the case for local-level solutions. Cross-sector collaboration, systems of accountability, evaluation, transparency in governance and steps that stakeholders can take to implement successful local solutions take a front seat in this article, produced by the Brookings Institution with significant contribution from Elizabeth Gaines of  the Forum for Youth Investment  and its  Children's Funding Project .
Clay County, Missouri Passes a Children's Fund!
On the August 8, 2017 Clay County, Missouri ballot, voters levied a one quarter cent sales tax to establish a community children's services fund. Clay County is the 9th county in Missouri to establish a children's fund, making the state a leader in locally-generated child and youth services funding. The bipartisan effort that led to the establishment of Clay County's fund is one of several recent examples of the power of children's issues to mobilize and unite voters. You can read news coverage of the August 8th vote here or click the infograph (at left) to enlarge.

Licking County, Ohio to Vote on Children's Services Levy as Tool to Respond to Opioid Epidemic
On November 7, 2017, voters in Licking County (Newark), Ohio will decide whether to levy additional property taxes to generate an estimated $3.97 million annually for Licking County Children's Services. The current levy generates approximately $3.8 million annually for services to care for abused or neglected children in Licking County, but the rapidly rising number of these children has led to a budget deficit. As the effects of the opioid crisis escalate in Licking County, the number of children requiring foster care, adoption and treatment services has risen dramatically - up 24 percent since January 1, 2017. Children effected by the opioid crisis may not only need foster care or adoption placement and counseling services, but may also require additional addiction and mental health treatment services that are highly specialized and expensive. Proponents of the children's levy ballot measure hope that Licking County citizens will vote 'Yes' on levying a tax to care for and support the health and well-being of the county's kids and youth.

As always, for continuing updates on local children's funds, visit the Children's Funding Project.
Congress reauthorizes the Juvenile Justice and Delinquency Prevention Act in Bipartisan Success for Youth Justice! Survey
The House and the Senate have both passed bipartisan legislation to reauthorize and update the Juvenile Justice and Delinquency Prevention Act (JJDPA), which sets standards for the treatment of juveniles that states follow to qualify for federal funding,  and which has not been updated since 2002. The JJDPA is a critical piece of legislation for juvenile justice reform efforts ; it not only provides "core protections" for juveniles as they move through the justice system, but also supports evidence-based rehabilitation and prevention programs and funds improvement, innovation and research in juvenile justice.
The House passed the Juvenile Justice Reform Act, H.R. 1809 , on May 23 and the Senate unanimously passed S. 860 on August 1. Now that both bills have passed the House and Senate must reconcile both pieces of legislation to produce a single document. Hopefully the reauthorization of this bill will lead to stronger, safer communities and better outcomes for youth

The 2017 election guide from Voices for Virginia's Children contains tools and information on issues facing Virginia's children and how voters can support them this election season. Worth checking out even if you won't be voting in Virginia this November, the cheat sheets with infographics and questions for candidates provide useful models for presenting information on topics of importance to youth nationally, as well as examples of questions voters should be posing to candidates around the country to get a sense of how they would support children and youth while in office. The cheat sheets cover a wide variety of topics, including childhood trauma, early childhood education, foster care, health insurance, mental health, the opioid epidemic and the school to prison pipeline (shown here).