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Children At-Risk
Who is At-Risk? Migrant Children Homeless Children Sexual Orientation
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 Who is "at risk"? What does "at risk" mean?

"At risk of future failure" is a common phrase used to describe students who face difficulties known to interfere with their educational success. It doesn't mean that the student WILL fail, only that the student may face challenges that other students do not. Under the new, federal "No Child Left Behind" legislation, schools across the country are being told that they have to do a better job of helping "at risk" children succeed.
A child can be "at risk" for any of a number of reasons including:  homelessness, migrant status, lead poisoning, racism, disabilities, giftedness, substance abuse, poverty, divorce, teenage parents, limited English proficiency (LEP), abuse and neglect, etc.
In other words, schools are being told that students come to them with many challenges and it is up to the schools to work together with parents and communities to try to help their students overcome those challenges and achieve educational success.
On this page you will find articles related to the educational success of "at risk" children.

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 Websites/Articles Related to Children At-Risk


Humble and Hopeful: Welcoming First-Generation Poor and Working-class Students to College - Students who are the first in their family to enter higher education join a rarified and often mystifying culture of rules, rites, and rituals. A first-generation working-class college student who became a faculty member offers his insights and recommendations after forty years in the academy.

The WhyTry Program - The goal of the WhyTry Program is to help youth answer the question, "Why try in life?" (when they are frustrated, confused, or angry with life's pressures and challenges.) The WhyTry Program teaches youth that "yes", it is worth trying hard in life. It offers real solutions and presents these solutions in a way that the youth can both understand and remember. WhyTry emphasizes a character education program that consists of ten visual analogies (pictures) that relate to specific problems and special challenges that at risk youth face in their every day lives. Each picture includes various solutions and questions, to help the youth gain insight in dealing with their own challenges.


MI New Law Aims to Educate About Depression/Suicide - Jeff and Laura Edwards of Livingston County faced one of the harshest blows any parent can endure when their 12-year-old son took his own life in 2003. But out of their grief has come a new state law that may help prevent such tragedies in the future. The Michigan Legislature approved and the governor last week signed into law House Bill 4375, which amends the Revised School Code to encourage school districts to educate students and personnel about suicide and depression.

Troubled Teen Helped Through Stay at Cross Creek - The Fenton home of Phillip and Linda Canup and their son, Christopher, who turned 18 in June, is peaceful. But it was not always like this. In fact, it had been the reverse for several years, dissention, shouting, holes punched in walls - chaos. The Canups agreed to tell their story in order to help others, those parents and teens, who don't know where to turn.

Featured Website: The Children's Grief Education Association - The Children's Grief Education Association was founded in 2004 as a 501(C)(3) nonprofit organization dedicated to serving the needs of grieving children and families and to provide education and support to those who serve them.


Arise - A not-for-profit foundation providing materials for at-risk populations, evidence based, award winning life skills educational programs for pre-k-Teens, and staff training.


Schools for Troubled Teens - Troubled Teens provides advice and resource to parents searching for help dealing with defiant and/or troubled teens. Topics include substance abuse, mental health issues, certain disabilities, teen boot camps, wilderness camps, and more.


MidCourse Correction Challenge Camp
Testimonial: "My wife and I are intensive treatment foster adoptive parents that have parented 21 at risk teens, mostly teen boys. Even with all our extra training we have come across some that need more than just the love and safety of a stable home. The MidCourse Correction Challenge camp was recommended to us by one of our boys counselors. That was two years ago. Today he is doing very well in school, no longer using marijuana, involved in school sports and a totally different boy. The MidCourse challenge staff genuinely care about the teens placed in their care. They have several follow up programs that are either free or inexpensive to mentor and continue the work they begin. My wife and I do not know where we would be today without having found this organization. It would be our pleasure to talk with other struggling parents and share our experience. We can be reached by email through the organization website." Jeff and Nancy Marchione


MI A House of Hope - Year-round school for at-risk girls provides shelter, a strong curriculum and optimism. Nestled in the woods just a few miles from Traverse City is a little-known school making a tremendous difference in the lives of many young women. The House of Hope provides help and a strong education to many troubled teen girls and their families. For more information on the school, visit


Child Abuse & Neglect Media Handbook (PDF) - Child Trends has just published this free, handy booklet to help journalists improve their coverage of child abuse and neglect stories. The handbook includes basic facts on child abuse and neglect and foster care, as well as quick references to sources of information that can help journalists develop a deeper understanding of the complex issues related to child welfare. Even though the handbook was originally targeted at journalists, it should be of interest to anyone who wants to learn where to find more information about one of society's most troubling problems.

The National Dropout Prevention Center (NDPC) was begun in 1986 to serve as a clearinghouse on issues related to dropout prevention and to offer strategies designed to increase the graduation rate in America's schools. Over the years, the NDPC has become a well-established national resource for sharing solutions for student success. It does so through its clearinghouse function, active research projects, publications, and through a variety of professional development activities. In addition, the NDPC conducts a variety of third party evaluations and Program Assessment and Reviews (PAR).


Center for Research on the Education of Students Placed at Risk (CRESPAR): Every Child has the Capacity to Succeed in School and in Life

Lights On Afterschool! is the only nationwide event calling attention to afterschool programs and their important role in the lives of children, families and communities.


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 Articles Related to Children At-Risk


Prescription Drugs Find Place in Teen Culture - ‘Pharm parties' reflect new world of drug abuse — and introduce a dangerous misperception: Pharmaceuticals are ‘safer'. When a teenager in Jan Sigerson's office mentioned a “pharm party” in February, Sigerson thought the youth was talking about a keg party out on a farm.


Controlling Anger--Before It Controls You - The article tells youth, “Anger is a completely normal, usually healthy, human emotion. But when it gets out of control and turns destructive, it can lead to problems—problems at work, in your personal relationships, and in the overall quality of your life. And it can make you feel as though you're at the mercy of an unpredictable and powerful emotion.” 


Warning Signs Of Youth Violence - This article discusses ways young people can recognize the signs that often precede youth violence in themselves and others. According to the author, “One in 12 high schoolers is threatened or injured with a weapon each year. If you're between the ages of 12 and 24, you face the highest risk of being the victim of violence.”

Beating Prompts Burton Teen to Leave 'Wrong Crowd' Behind - Aaron Brank can remember only parts of the evening last January. First, there was the drinking at a friend's house. Then there was the beating.


VA Mayor Shifts Focus To Social Issues - Mayor Wilder has a question about the teenagers convicted of rape recently: Why didn't anyone see the boys were headed for trouble? "These kids had to at one time been close to school or been in school and had to indicate a problem, truancy, or dropping out," he said.


Video-game Camps Target At-Risk Youth - A trio of electronic gaming enthusiasts is playing on kids' interest in video games to help at-risk urban students learn key math and science concepts--and possibly open doors into the lucrative game-design industry for them.


Wayne County's Delinquency Wraparound Services: A Guide for Parents - Assistance for families with children that are wards of the state and emotionally challenged, exhibiting delinquent behavior or those in danger of out-of-home placement.


MA Schools Aim to Address Violence by Teen Beaus - Responding to a startling survey showing 13 percent of teen girls have been hit by boyfriends, nine high schools nationwide - including two locally - are embracing an anti-violence curriculum aimed at stopping violence before it starts.


STUDENTS TEACHING STUDENTS: The Many Names of Abuse - Personal stories used to try to slow rise in violent relationships.

New Study of Youth Shows It's Boys Who Are in Crisis - The percentage of boys graduating from high school has now dropped back below 1985 levels. Girls get better grades than boys and are much more likely than boys to graduate high school, enter college, and graduate from college. Although more girls than boys enroll in high level math and science classes, boys did score a couple of points better on the most recent national math test considered by the study. However, girls’ advantage on the most recent reading test is five times as large. The vast majority of learning-disabled students are boys, and boys are four times as likely to receive a diagnosis of attention-deficit hyperactivity disorder as girls. Boys are far more likely than girls to be disciplined, suspended, held back, or expelled. Recess time, which research shows is more critical for boys than for girls, has been cut back nationally. Vocational education, also of greater importance to boys than to girls, suffered a sharp decline from 1982 to 1992 and has never recovered.


PA Allegheny County Program a Boon to Troubled Youths, Their Families - When three of the five grandchildren she is raising began to have behavioral problems, Erma Johnson did not have to look far for help. Community Connections for Families, a local program that aids children with serious emotional disturbances and their families, has an office at the Hill District public housing complex where she lives. A federal review of Community Connections late last year noted that it stands out among similar programs around the nation.


MI State Puts Kids at Risk, Oakland Says - County officials: Department of Human Services investigators have left children in abusive homes.


Teens’ Risk-taking All in Their Heads? - NIH study: Part of brain that inhibits risky behavior isn’t fully formed until age 25.


MI At-risk Kids Get Education Boost - Commerce Twp. middle-schoolers who struggle get help in alternative program. When Kandiss Keller tried to understand her homework last year, she would often get frustrated and give up. This school year, she has the help of Skills for Success, an alternative middle school program that meets twice a day, at the beginning and end of the school day.


MI Detroit Program Puts 'Extra Moms' With Kids in Need - Once a week, Becky Duggan and Kaymaya Colley get together and hang out. Sometimes, they do something exciting, but mostly they just hang out. "She's somebody I can talk to, like an extra mom," said Kaymaya, 11. This was exactly the plan VIP Mentoring had in mind when it matched up the Detroit girl and the St. Clair Shores woman.


MI Fund Cuts Imperil Youths - Through treatment and counseling at a Growth Works program Chris Allen has been sober for more than year and enrolled at Schoolcraft College, with dreams of becoming a drug counselor. Now he's worried others may not have that same opportunity. As part of a 15 percent cut in the juvenile justice system budget, Growth Works today faces funding losses from Wayne County that have leaders scrambling to figure out how they will offer high-level service to adjudicated youth from 17 western Wayne communities with limited resources.


MI Children in Crisis: Mental Health - In this three-part series, the Detroit Free Press examines how children with bipolar disorder, anxiety, schizophrenia, depression and other mental illnesses succeed or fail in getting mental health services. Through the eyes of children who are in treatment, locked up, or on the brink, we explore what it takes to get services, what's available and the impact on families when a child needs mental health care.


'Lost Boys' Celebrate Success - Their stories are still hard to fathom: the trek across hostile terrain, the young boys who died en route, the refugee years spent without parents. But many of the "Lost Boys" of Sudan who have resettled in the Salt Lake area are finding their way now — and are attending college in record numbers. "It's amazing to me, given the life they've had and the childhood they had, how strong they are," says Kristy Swapp, Gai's girlfriend. "I know no way to explain it based on American culture." She credits their religious faith — "They'll say, 'I may have been lost from my family, but not lost from God' " — and their sense of being part of an extended network of cousins and ancestors. "By the time they're 3, they've heard their family history back 10 generations."


Sex and the TV-watching Teen - One thing you won't find on your TV is a commercial for cigarettes, and it's one of the few 'broadcasting' issues on which the federal government and Hollywood have common ground.


MI Mental Illness Stresses Juvenile Justice System - He was a whiz at origami, the Japanese art of folding paper into various shapes and objects. Leave him alone in a room with a ream of thin copier bond and he would emerge with the most sturdy three-dimensional container, a child-welfare advocate marveled. "It could hold water," said Brian Philson, director of the Jackson County Youth Center. Despite the boy's uncanny knack to craft something out of nothing, the 13-year-old was hard pressed to build a place to sort out his apparent inner demons.


MI A GED, Your Ticket To Freedom - Gov. Jennifer Granholm signed into law a bill today that would allow a judge to require someone to get their high school diploma or their general education development (GED) certificate before they are allowed to get off probation.


U.S. 15 Million Youth Need After School Programs - The most in-depth study ever to explore how America's children spend their afternoons finds that 14.3 million kindergarten through 12th graders take care of themselves after the school day ends, including almost four million middle school students in grades six to eight. "America After 3 PM: A Household Survey on Afterschool in America" finds that the need is especially high for middle school children. Just six percent of middle schoolers are in afterschool programs; another 34 percent of America's middle schoolers are unsupervised in the afternoons.


MI Adrian Training School to Become Female Facility - The Adrian Training School, which for decades has housed delinquent youth, will be converted into a juvenile justice facility for girls. Family Independence Agency Director Marianne Udow said the conversion will best meet the needs of single-gender juvenile justice programming for girls in the system.


MI Highland Park Schools Seeing Some Rewards - In a single year, Highland Park Community High School has been transformed. This month, 130 graduates in a class of 139 crossed the stage at the Masonic Temple, a milestone for the struggling district, which saw only 86 students earn diplomas in 2003. At the heart of the changes is Theresa Saunders, the district's superintendent hired in August 2003. Among the keys to success at schools Saunders said, is to give freedom to principals to study their own problems and suggest their own solutions.


MI Thousands Stranded in Foster Care - Broken system leaves Michigan kids vulnerable. State foster care systems across the nation, including in Michigan, are crippled by inadequate funding, poorly trained case workers and a lack of good foster homes. The fallout includes children stranded in foster care for years and, in some cases, at risk of further abuse and neglect in foster homes that receive little state oversight, the report found.


FL Program, Teacher Give Students Second Chance - Curtis Rogers needed a second chance, which is why it was fortunate he ended up in Eric Lampkin's Jacksonville classroom. Enrolled in a program known as the "graduate initiative," the 18-year-old spent the past year with Lampkin, studying to take the General Educational Development and FCAT exams.


Expert Testimony, Bad Evidence? - You may have heard of Munchausen Syndrome by Proxy. It's the kind of child abuse in which a parent tries to get attention for herself or himself by making his or her own baby sick - often by smothering the infant.

Supporting At-Risk Students (PDF) - Lowell Middlesex Academy was founded in 1989 as a dropout prevention program. Over the years LMACS has developed a number of specific practices that consistently help them to support at-risk students and help them gain the social, emotional, and academic skills they need to succeed in school and in life. These practices are outlined in a new book called Supporting At-Risk Students that is part of the Project For School Innovation (PSI) "By Teachers For Teachers" series of books.


PA Prom-bound? There's an Exam - To head off underage drinking, the West Chester district will require alcohol screening before students can enter. Stung by students being drunk at school dances, the West Chester Area School District announced yesterday that it would require junior- and senior-prom-goers to be screened by alcohol-detection devices. [Free registration/login required to view this article.]


U.S. From the Prison Track to the College Track - In the new report, "From the Prison Track to the College Track," Jobs For the Future (JFF) identifies four types of new school programs that effectively move low-income, out-of-school youth, ages 16-24, toward completing high school and postsecondary education and training, and gaining access to real employment opportunities. The programs make school success possible for young people whom the traditional system has failed.


FL Cypress Bay High Students Wear Belly Suits to Simulate Realities of Pregnancy - It took only a few seconds to turn 15-year-old Ben Stratton from a lanky, wisecracking freshman at Cypress Bay High into a complaining, winded 9-months-pregnant mother.


IA City Outlines Strategies to Close Learning Gap - A high school counselor once told Robert Smith he would have to work much harder than his white peers to achieve the same things throughout his life. Smith, who is African American, took those words with him from a low-income, one-parent home in Dallas, Texas, to college at the University of Iowa. He carried the same message to the State Board of Education on Friday.


Helping Children With Emotional Problems Succeed - According to Martin Henley and Nicholas Long, teachers and caregivers should first be aware of and sensitive to warning signs of developing emotional problems. Second, they should use the following strategies to help students overcome their emotional barriers to learning.


School-Based Suicide Prevention Programs Show Success - A high school program that teaches teens about the link between suicide and depression cut suicide attempts by 40 percent at five U.S. schools, according to a recent study. The classroom materials focus on teaching kids that suicide is directly related to treatable mental illnesses, getting them to recognize and respond to depression and suicidal behavior in themselves and in their friend, and that it's not a "betrayal of trust" to tell someone when they think a friend is suicidal. [Source: PEN]


IL Dropouts To Sign on Dotted Line in Chicago - The Chicago school system has a new requirement for would-be dropouts and their parents -- they must sign a consent form warning of the possible pitfalls of quitting school, including jail and unemployment. The letter, adopted this week, is a change from an often-criticized policy that allowed students to merely telephone their schools with the news they weren't coming back. [Source: PEN]


Teacher Feature: A Remarkable Program For At-Risk, Middle Level Students  - There are textbooks, workbooks, manuals, manipulative devices, and gadgets of all sorts designed to remediate communication disorders. While the publishers claim many of these to be appropriate for junior high school, the fact is that there is a complete and utter void of remedial material appropriate for junior high school or secondary school. However, from my perspective, I am not so much concerned with the absence of remedial material as I am with the absence of a satisfactory rationale under which remedial techniques may be applied.


MI Senate Panel Gives Youths An Out From Sex Offender Public Registry - A Senate committee on Tuesday toughened some aspects of legislation giving a break to young persons convicted of age-based sex crimes as proponents said they were trying to strike a new balance in the operation of Michigan's sex offender registry program.


AL Ninth Grade Key to Success, but Reasons Are Debated - With the rising use of standardized exams to measure school performance, ninth grade is becoming a watershed moment at many schools across the country. Increasingly, educators say, students at risk of failing pivotal tests commonly given in the 10th and 11th grades are being held back, sometimes more than once. Frequently, such students become so discouraged that they drop out.


MI Michigan After School Initiative 2003 Report - The Michigan After School Initiative 2003 Report that was required by Michigan House Resolution 26 is now available - click here (PDF).


NC How North Carolina Creates More Dropouts - North Carolina's nationally praised push to raise standards in public schools has a dangerous downside that state leaders have widely ignored: a dramatic rise in dropouts. After holding steady for years, the percentage of students quitting N.C. high schools in 1999 surged to the highest rate in at least a decade, and remained high a year later. [Source]


Educators Took Help Straight to the Kids Where They Lived - What did Tom Lovitt, a University of Washington education professor, and an elementary school principal do when they discovered that more than 100 kids from one low-income apartment complex were struggling in school?


IN Plan Aims to Dissuade Dropouts - Proposed reform won't let 16-year-olds quit school. Raising the minimum age at which students can leave high school without a diploma could improve Indiana's overall graduation rate and reduce the number of dropouts statewide, according to a new proposal.


MI Disparities at Birth Persist in Urban Areas - Despite improvement since 1990 in Michigan’s largest cities on some measures of a healthy and promising start to life, urban babies in 2001 continued to start life at a greater disadvantage than those born elsewhere in the state, according to the latest analysis released by Kids Count in Michigan.  Read 2003 Kid's Count Data for Michigan's Largest Cities (PDF, 10 pages, size=267k)


MI Judge Urges Schools to Use Truancy Court - All Ingham districts eligible for program to keep kids in classThe Ingham County truancy court is working, but many districts are missing out on a good way to keep kids in school.


U.S. States Failing New Test of Child Welfare System - Not a single state has passed a rigorous test of its ability to protect children from child abuse and to find permanent homes for children who often languish in foster care.


Nationwide Increase in Teen Prostitution - Trends Show Kids Getting Younger, More from Middle-Class Homes Over the last year, local and federal law-enforcement officials say they have noted a marked increase in teen prostitution in cities across the country, reports Assistant Editor Suzanne Smalley in the August 18 issue of Newsweek.

PA Boredom Cited as Reason for Thoughts of Dropping Out - The top reason that Philadelphia students consider dropping out of school is boredom. At least that's the result of a survey conducted by students themselves in a summer program at Temple University.


Child Delinquency: Early Intervention and Prevention - Read the summary of findings from OJJDP identifying risk and protective factors that are crucial to developing early intervention and protection programs for very young offenders - click here.


MI Police to offer drug test kits to parents - Lansing police will provide mid-Michigan parents with drug tests they can give to their children.


TX When Discipline Turns Fatal - Texas lacks tough law on prone restraint that's banned in three states.


TX Becoming AVID Achievers - Four years ago, Carter-Riverside High School senior Rogelio Morales would have laughed off his chances of becoming a college-bound student with a perfect grade-point average.


"Class Action" Curriculum Teaches Teens The Consequences of Teen Alcohol Use - Learn more about Class Action, the new, high school component of Project Northland, a model alcohol prevention program. This highly interactive curriculum has students working in legal teams to prepare and present six hypothetical civil cases in which someone has been harmed as a result of underage drinking. Students gain a real sense of the social and legal consequences of teen alcohol use.  Contact Ann Standing, 1-800-328-9000, ext. 4030,


Mott Foundation Continues Support for Afterschool Programming - The Charles Stewart Mott Foundation in Flint, Michigan, has awarded a four-year, $3.6 million grant to the University of Wisconsin-Madison to study the impacts and best practices of afterschool programs, particularly those that focus on underserved populations.


MI Watkins: Raise state's drop out age to halt exodus of students - Why does Michigan have a law on the books dating back decades that makes it "legal" for children to drop out of school at the age of 16?


Girls 'get hooked' on drugs 'faster'; Females fighting stress, depression - Girls and young women are more easily addicted to drugs and alcohol have different reasons than boys for abusing substances and may need single-sex treatment programs to beat back addictions, according to an American study just released.


Read the article from Education News - Drug Testing: Results from a study of high school drug-testing provide evidence that random testing of student athletes can significantly reduce drug use.

Study Shows Preschool Programs That Involve Parents Can Prevent Child Abuse - In one of Chicago's poorest neighborhoods, a little girl with pigtails and a denim jumper stands in front of a table and fingers the shape of wooden letters as she fits them into a puzzle. In the next room, her mother talks to a teacher about taking the GED and how she can help her daughter with homework.


MI Kids learn to thrive - Program gives students the structure and skills they need to succeed.


Equity and Opportunity: Addressing the Needs of Homeless Students


OH Mentor program makes impact on at-risk Ohio kids


Truth in Labeling - When it comes to special ed and African-American kids, it's time for... Truth in Labeling.


Ozone House - Founded in 1969, Ozone House - located in Ann Arbor and Ypsilanti, Michigan, was a pioneer in creating services to runaway and homeless youth. Now Ozone House serves all youth in crisis. All services are free, voluntary and confidential. Ozone House offers a 24-hour crisis hotline at 734-662-2222; individual counseling; family counseling; life skills training; emergency youth shelter, long-term residential option, independent living program, LGBTQ services, substance abuse services.


School District Mission Widens - Being homeless meant moving across the street for Fruitridge Elementary School first-grader Cameron Thomas.


Ohio firm succeeds with new ways of educating dropouts - Do states need new kinds of schools that educate high school dropouts?

FL School can serve as anchor for homeless kids - Just about everything has changed for Deonte and Marquan Moore since their mother moved them and their two sisters to Orlando from SC last year.


Nation's Largest Gathering of School Drop-Out Prevention Specialists Assemble in DC - Over 800 Leaders and Volunteers from 30 States Highlight Best Practices Helping At-Risk Students.

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 Homeless Children and Youth: Resources & Articles


Project Jason's Come Home Program: Seeking the Missing Among the Homeless - Come Home is a new and unique national missing person's locator program sponsored by Project Jason. Come Home posters are placed at homeless shelters, soup kitchens, and other locations where homeless persons gather. Project Jason has a growing database of these shelters and related organizations. Twice per month, a new poster is produced and this information relayed via email to Come Home participants nationwide.


The 'Secret' Homeless - For two years, Rhonda Dyer and her daughter, Kayla, lived out of a 1985 Toyota van, traversing a network of Upland parking lots.


Addressing the Educational Needs of Homeless Children: A Guide for Michigan Child Welfare Practitioners (PDF) by Dan Rubin - The federal law guarantees certain educational benefits and assistance for "homeless" children. The word “homeless” is defined broadly and includes any child in need of a “fixed, regular and adequate” nighttime residence. Dan Rubin, a graduating law student from the University of Michigan, has completed this guide to the federal McKinney-Vento Act in the hope that a brief summary of the law and resources will help parents and advocates help children and youth in need.

MI Oakland Aims to End Homelessness - County task force undertakes effort to eradicate the problem over the next 10 years in the affluent area. David Permaloff has a name for the young people he counsels on the streets of Oakland County: the forgotten homeless. Some have fled homes filled with tension and pain. Others have been abandoned by their parents. Permaloff recalls a case where a teen went on a weekend camping trip and came home to find his parents and all their belongings gone.


Homeless Students Find Refuges in Public Schools - Because of a federal law reauthorized in 2001, public schools have become refuges for homeless students, where education, food, clothing, and dental and medical services are more accessible than ever, educators say.


Downloadable Booklet: Legal Tools to End Youth Homelessness (PDF; size=308k) - The National Law Center on Homelessness & Poverty (NLCHP) has just finished a new booklet on "Legal Tools to End Youth Homelessness." The booklet discusses access to shelter/housing, public benefits, job training, public school, college and emancipation for unaccompanied youth. It also talks about mandatory reporting of runaway youth. The booklet is in a Q&A format designed to be accessible to non-lawyers. The booklet can be freely copied and shared. Comments and feedback can be shared with Patricia Julianelle, National Law Center on Homelessness & Poverty, 1411 K Street, N.W., Ste. 1400, Washington, DC 20005. Phone (202) 638-2535 or 1-800-741-8034.

MD Schools Challenged to Give Homeless Students Uninterrupted Education - A week after Colby Kirchner's family became homeless in October, the Anne Arundel County teenager was relieved to return to school and be around his friends, to feel like a normal kid again. But at the end of his first day back, a school bus driver refused to take him to the homeless shelter near Fort Meade where his family was staying.


CO Homeless Kids Find Haven in School Outreach Efforts - State's districts are struggling and getting creative to comply with a new law that expands the definition of 'homeless'. Manuel Ramos almost cringes when he is told his three sons are considered homeless. But the divorced 35-year-old is learning to appreciate the teachers, advocates and volunteers who now encircle his children to help ensure their education. "I never thought being a single parent was this hard," said the burly Ramos.


Where the Heart Is: Educating Homeless Children - Matthew Cardinale never gave up. The vision of graduating from high school and going to college sustained him even when he had no idea where he would sleep at night. When he lived behind a Publix supermarket. When his time ran out at the homeless shelter and he slept in a field. "School became my stability," says Cardinale. "I was going to school and making progress toward graduation. It became part of my identity."


U.S. Ed Dept Issues Guidance for Homeless Students under No Child Left Behind Act - The U.S. Department of Education has released preliminary guidance to help states and school districts ensure that every homeless child or youth receives the same educational opportunities, including public preschool education, as other children.


Homeless Children and Youth: Resources - To ensure that homeless children and youth in Michigan have access to a free and appropriate public school education. The McKinney-Vento Homeless Assistance Act (Subtitle VII-B) of 2002, part of No Child Left Behind, requires the Department to implement the following - click here to view.


To ensure that homeless children and youth in Michigan have access to a free and appropriate public school education. The McKinney-Vento Homeless Assistance Act (Subtitle VII-B) of 2002, part of No Child Left Behind, requires the Department to implement the following:

    • Review and revise, if necessary, all legislation, policies and procedures which impede the enrollment and educational success of homeless children and homeless youth

    • Collect and report data regarding the number and location of homeless children and homeless youth

    • Adopt a state plan to establish comparable procedures for local and intermediate school boards to enroll and educate homeless children and homeless youth

    • Make grants available to local educational agencies to facilitate enrollment, attendance and educational success of homeless children and homeless youth

    • Coordinate interagency programs and activities with federal, state and local agencies to enhance effective implementation of the McKinney Act


Above information from:,1607,7-140-6525_6530_6559-53390--,00.html


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 Migrant Children


ED Mulls Migrant Student Database - For children in migrant families, school is more like a way station than a final destination, which poses significant challenges for the teachers who are charged with their education. Now, a proposal from the U.S. Department of Education (ED) would track those students as they travel along traditional migrant routes, ensuring that school records follow them wherever they might go. [Free login/registration required to view this article.'


Migrant Services Directory: Organizations and Resources 2003 Edition

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 Miscellaneous Resources


MI Programs for Youth Sponsored by the Michigan National Guard - Michigan's youth are its future. To this end, the Michigan National Guard is involved in a wide variety of youth-oriented programs. In addition to the officially sponsored programs, Michigan National Guard members participate in countless community-based programs as mentors and volunteers.


APSAC (American Professional Society on Abuse of Children) is dedicated to a multidisciplinary approach to professional services to maltreated children and the adults who share and influence their lives. APSAC members come from law enforcement, medicine, social services, mental health, psychology, law, social work, social and behavioral sciences, education and allied professions.  Membership in APSAC costs $75-145 per year and includes an automatic membership in the state chapter, (MiPSAC in Michigan) and subscriptions to the official journal, Child Maltreatment; the quarterly practice newsletter, the APSAC Advisor; and for Michigan residents a subscription to the MiPSAC Newsletter, a practice journal addressing issues in Michigan.  A membership application is available online at


Eva’s Place provides a safe, supportive environment for victims of domestic and sexual assault.  Every person has the right to live a non-violent life, free of fear (located in Sanilac County, Michigan).


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 Substance Abuse & Treatment

Co-Occurring Disorders


Promoting Mental Health at Home


How to Apply for Disability Benefits with Drug Addiction


Treatment 4 Addiction


For the substance abuse treatment facility nearest you, click here.

Growing Up Drug–Free: A Parent's Guide to Prevention - Helps parents guide their preschool-to-high school-age children as they form attitudes about drug use. This publication provides answers to children's questions as well as sources for help. It covers such important topics as: 1) how to carry on a continuing dialogue with children on the subject of drugs; 2) why occasional alcohol, tobacco, or other drug use is a serious matter; and 3) how to educate yourself as a parent or guardian about drugs.


Featured Website: Check Yourself - A place for teens to check where they are with drugs and alcohol. Includes quizzes, games, "moments of truth," stories, hotlines, drug info, help Q&A, treatment options.


Book Recommendation: Moving In: Ten Successful Independent/Transitional Living Programs - This book, published by Northwest Media, profiles programs across the country that are helping foster care and homeless teens adapt to living on their own. It also offers successful models for transitioning foster care youth. Each chapter in the book explores a different transitional living program serving both rural and inner-city youth.

Hazelden - Hazelden is a non-profit organization providing high quality, affordable addiction treatment, education, publishing and research for more than 50 years.


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MI Students Could Not Be Kicked Out For Being Truant Under New Legislation - Children couldn't be kicked out of school for being chronically absent from school under legislation that received its first hearing in a Senate committee this afternoon.


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Sexual Orientation

Michigan Camp is a Haven for Gay Teens - At this Michigan camp, in between the water games, craft projects and hikes through the woods, 14 teens are talking about ways to tell their friends and family that they are gay, lesbian, bisexual or transgender. They're learning how to be advocates for gay rights and getting guidance on being comfortable and confident with their sexuality. At this camp there is no harassment. It is a safe haven, a place where these teens are free to be themselves.


Advocates Say Educators Too Reluctant to Tackle Bullying of Gays, Lesbians - Last month, 5,500 educators from 36 states signed up as participants in the second annual No Name Calling Week, an anti-bullying program addressing verbal harassment of students, including gay and lesbian students, in middle and high schools.


CA Anti-Gay Harassment in Schools Shows the Problem is Widespread, Dangerous & Preventable - Despite an anti-harassment law that took effect four years ago, more than 200,000 of California's middle and high school students are targets of harassment based on actual or perceived sexual orientation, according to a new study by the California Safe Schools Coalition. The Safe Place to Learn study found that such widespread bullying has dangerous academic, health and safety consequences for students. [Source: PEN]


U.S. They're 'Out' at School, and Tension is in - Philadelphia high schools are struggling with a new problem in student behavior: rising tensions between heterosexual and openly lesbian girls. Nationwide, lesbians increasingly are declaring their sexual orientation and publicly displaying their affection for each other at younger ages, and Philadelphia appears in step with that trend.

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Gryphon Place: This website lists warning signs, myths and facts, statistics, research, and prevention.


MI More Schools Working to Prevent Suicides - Clio High School last week became the fifth school in Genesee County to offer MINDS, as schools step up to the challenge of trying to prevent youth suicide. Several other districts offer similar suicide prevention programs, such as Yellow Ribbon.


Yellow Ribbon Suicide Prevention Program - A comprehensive community-based Suicide Prevention Program. Call 1-800-615-1245 24 hours a day/7 days a week for Community Mental Health or 1-800-SUICIDE (784-2433). For teen advice visit For teen help visit

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Teen Pregnancy

Pregnant High School Students Ask for 4 Weeks Maternity Leave  - Pregnant students in a Denver high school are asking for at least four weeks of maternity leave so they can heal, bond with their newborns and not be penalized with unexcused absences.


A Daring New Sex Ed Tactic - What happens when the adults leave the room and older teens take on the role of teaching younger teens all about sex and birth control? It gets interesting, that's what.


Science Says Research Brief: Early Childhood Programs (PDF) - While most programs aimed at preventing teen pregnancy focus on adolescents, research suggests that children's experiences in programs many years earlier may also contribute to a reduced likelihood that they will become parents too soon.


National Campaign to Prevent Teen Pregnancy - The goal of the National Campaign to Prevent Teen Pregnancy is to reduce the rate of teen pregnancy by one-third between 1996 and 2005.

Making the List: Understanding, Selecting, and Replicating Effective Teen Pregnancy Prevention Programs - A Putting What Works to Work publication, Making the List helps those working with young people to navigate lists of effective teen pregnancy prevention programs and make informed decisions about how to select the best one(s) for a particular community and population. Order a print copy.

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Child Abuse & Neglect

MI Lawyers Exit From Kids' Cases - More than 1,000 abused and neglected children in Wayne County Family Court cases are getting new lawyers to represent their interests in child protective proceedings.


MI Report Spreads Blame for Child's Beating Death - The beating death of an emotionally disturbed 4-year-old foster child in Detroit last year led to imprisonment for his foster mother, criminal charges against two foster-care workers and the departure of two employees of the Michigan Department of Human Services.

Child Abuse Hotlines

Child Abuse Hotline/Dept of Social Services 1-800-342-3720


National Child Abuse Hotline 1-800-792-52000


Childhelp National Child Abuse Hotline/Voices for Children 1-800-422-4453

Provides multilingual crisis intervention and professional counseling on child abuse. Gives referrals to local social service groups offering counseling on child abuse. Has literature on child abuse in English and Spanish.  Operates 24 hours.


Boys Town National Hotline 1-800-448-3000
For children and parents in any type of personal crisis. Trained counselors will provide help in abusive relationships, parent-child conflicts, pregnancy, runaway youth, suicide, physical and sexual abuse. Operates 24 hours.

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Minority Youth

Legal Rights of Juvenile Offenders - The American Bar Association has a new guide for attorneys who represent or advocate for juvenile status offenders. The document, called “Representing Juvenile Status Offenders”, is now freely available for download.

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