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Washington CASA Association is a network of 12 local programs in Washington state serving 13 counties. Through our valued membership with National CASA/GAL, we belong to a network of 950 community-based programs nationwide, that recruit, screen, train, and support court-appointed special advocate (CASA) and guardian ad litem (GAL) volunteers. Those advocates are volunteers, just like you, who stand up and speak out to help children experiencing abuse and neglect.

This season give the gift of a CASA Volunteer


Black Lives Matter- We Stand in Solidarity

The inhumane and senseless murder of Mr. George Floyd and the many others who have gone before him provide a painful reminder of the racial injustices that pervade American life. Staff and volunteers at CASA programs know this too well. The higher rates of incarceration, poverty, and unemployment, and the poorer health outcomes among Blacks manifest themselves in disproportional representation of Black children in the child welfare system. 

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Understanding the child care needs of parents working nontraditional hour (NTH) schedule has become a growing concern for policymakers trying to reduce barriers to accessible child care. Families working these schedules can face extra challenges finding child care, and the care arrangements they use are less often supported by public funds. Using data from the 2014–18 American Community Survey and the 2016 Survey of Program Participation, we find that roughly a third of Connecticut children younger than 6 with working parents had parents that worked NTH schedules. The most common hours these parents worked were evenings, mornings, and weekends, with fewer working overnight. Although parents of all types and income levels work NTH schedules, these schedules are much more common among families that have faced structural barriers to employment, education, and good wages. This is true especially for families with low incomes, Black and Latino families, parents with lower levels of education, and single-parent families. Further, these patterns hold true for essential workers as well. The child care crisis brought on by the pandemic and other challenges of COVID-19 have amplified these issues as well as the importance of the essential workforce and the impact of race on families’ risks and opportunities.

Understanding the child care needs of parents working nontraditional hour (NTH) schedule has become a growing concern for policymakers trying to reduce barriers to accessible child care. Families working these schedules can face extra challenges finding child care, and the care arrangements they use are less often supported by public funds. Using data from the 2014–18 American Community Survey and the 2016 Survey of Program Participation, we find that more than a third of Oklahoma children younger than 6 with working parents had parents that worked NTH schedules. The most common hours these parents worked were early mornings and weekends, with fewer working evenings or overnight. Although parents of all types and income levels work NTH schedules, these schedules are much more common among families that have faced structural barriers to employment, education, and good wages. This is true especially for families with low incomes, Black and Latino families, parents with lower levels of education, and single-parent families. Further, these patterns hold true for essential workers as well. The child care crisis brought on by the pandemic and other challenges of COVID-19 have amplified these issues as well as the importance of the essential workforce and the impact of race on families’ risks and opportunities.

Understanding the child care needs of parents working nontraditional hour (NTH) schedule has become a growing concern for policymakers trying to reduce barriers to accessible child care. Families working these schedules can face extra challenges finding child care, and the care arrangements they use are less often supported by public funds. Using data from the 2014–18 American Community Survey and the 2016 Survey of Program Participation, we find that more than a third of District of Columbia children younger than 6 with working parents had parents that worked NTH schedules. The most common hours these parents worked were evenings and weekends, with fewer working during the early morning or overnight. Although parents of all types and income levels work NTH schedules, these schedules are much more common among families that have faced structural barriers to employment, education, and good wages. This is true especially for families with low incomes, Black and Latino families, parents with lower levels of education, and single-parent families. The child care crisis brought on by the pandemic and other challenges of COVID-19 have amplified these issues as well as the importance of the essential workforce and the impact of race on families’ risks and opportunities.

Texas is home to approximately 7 million youth under 18, and holds the second largest LGBT youth population in the United States (approx. 195,000). Youth homelessness is a pervasive and understudied problem, and a burgeoning body of research suggests that lesbian, gay, bisexual, questioning/queer, gender nonconforming, and transgender (LGBQ/GNCT) youth of color may be particularly vulnerable to housing instability and homelessness due to structural barriers that disproportionately disadvantage them from resources, care, and services to promote their wellbeing. In Texas counties of all sizes, the needs of youth who face the intersection of housing insecurity, discrimination based on LGBQ/GNCT identity, justice involvement, and racial discrimination are not holistically understood due to lack of interconnecting data. Philanthropists seeking to better understand the driving factors behind homelessness for LGBQ/GNCT youth of color, and subsequently work to address the root causes, can invest in local organizations conducting crucial data collection and build capacity to bring together these disparate data sources. Given the proper funding and resources to increase the data and actionable solutions in this area, we can advance positive outcomes for youth of this generation and beyond.

Students of color have faced a myriad of challenges in 2020 due to the impacts of COVID-19, racial injustice, and the personal fear that either themselves or a loved one may be targeted because of their race. Improving school climate is a necessary component in any effort to improve racial equity. Race too often predicts outcomes such as disciplinary actions, feelings of student connectedness, and a student’s perceived level of support from adults in their school. Additional interventions, policies, and research to identify effective solutions to close the racial school climate gap between students of color and white students are necessary. This concept paper highlights the need for philanthropic and government investment to better understand the social-emotional needs of students of color.

Texas is home to approximately 7 million youth under 18, and holds the second largest LGBT youth population in the United States (approx. 195,000). Youth homelessness is a pervasive and understudied problem, and a burgeoning body of research suggests that lesbian, gay, bisexual, questioning/queer, gender nonconforming, and transgender (LGBQ/GNCT) youth of color may be particularly vulnerable to housing instability and homelessness due to structural barriers that disproportionately disadvantage them from resources, care, and services to promote their wellbeing. In Texas counties of all sizes, the needs of youth who face the intersection of housing insecurity, discrimination based on LGBQ/GNCT identity, justice involvement, and racial discrimination are not holistically understood due to lack of interconnecting data. Philanthropists seeking to better understand the driving factors behind homelessness for LGBQ/GNCT youth of color, and subsequently work to address the root causes, can invest in local organizations conducting crucial data collection and build capacity to bring together these disparate data sources. Given the proper funding and resources to increase the data and actionable solutions in this area, we can advance positive outcomes for youth of this generation and beyond.

Trustee Lou Lucido Elected to Key Position

Trustee Lou Lucido Elected to Key Position

Place-based education and community change interventions such as Promise Neighborhoods face distinct challenges designing and executing high-quality evaluations. Because these efforts attempt to create population-level change by using a comprehensive continuum of cradle-to-career programming, experimental evaluation methods may be impractical or inappropriate. Nevertheless, planning, formative, and quasi-experimental methods can be used to conduct rigorous and instructive evaluations of Promise Neighborhoods. In this brief, we present options and discuss best practices for Promise Neighborhoods conducting evaluations within their communities.

Youth engagement is the meaningful and sustained involvement of young people in efforts to create positive social change. This approach requires youth-serving organizations to rebalance traditional power dynamics between adults and young people, allowing youths to take on decisionmaking responsibilities. Collective impact initiatives such as Promise Neighborhoods are well-positioned to meaningfully incorporate youth input and leadership in program design, implementation, and evaluation. Promise Neighborhoods in West Philadelphia, Southeast Alaska, and Knox County, Kentucky, are doing just that, engaging young people through school- and community-based initiatives.

OHSEPR supports Louisianans displaced by Hurricane Laura.

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