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Susie Cambria, MSW

Public Policy Consultant

Public Policy Reads (12/09)

Latinos Online: Narrowing the Gap: This report from the Pew Hispanic Center and the
Pew Internet and American Life Project has implications for local public policy, civic
engagement, and educational success and attainment locally and nationally. The executive
summary starts:
From 2006 to 2008, internet use among Latino adults rose by 10 percentage points,
from 54% to 64%. In comparison, the rates for whites rose four percentage points,
and the rates for blacks rose only two percentage points during that time period.
Though Latinos continue to lag behind whites, the gap in internet use has shrunk

For Latinos, the increase in internet use has been fueled in large part among groups
that have typically had very low rates of internet use.

Read the report online: .

Indicators of School Crime and Safety: 2008: This report is a joint effort by the Bureau
of Justice Statistics and National Center for Education Statistics. It analyzes the most
recent data on school crime and student safety including bullying, school conditions,
weapons, accessibility of drugs and alcohol, and student perceptions of personal safety.
The report relies on data from the National Crime Victimization Survey, the School Crime
Supplement to the National Crime Victimization Survey, the Youth Risk Behavior Survey, the
School Survey on Crime and Safety, and the School and Staffing Survey.

This is a must-read for those interested in student safety, public safety, public education,
and student achievement. The report is online: .

Rx for Hunger: Affordable Housing: This December 2009 report from Children's
HealthWatch and the Medical-Legal Partnership | Boston finds that housing plays a
significant role in protecting young children from food insecurity and the health risks of
being seriously underweight. This new report confirms that increased support for subsidized
housing must be part of the strategy for ending childhood hunger.

Access online: . (Thanks to JCCF

News Summary for December 15, 2009 for sharing this resource.)

CESAR Fax: The Fax is a one-page overview of a timely substance abuse trend or issue.
These data sheets, produced by the University of Maryland’s Center for Substance Abuse
Research (CESAR), come out every Monday and are free. To read prior editions and/or to
sign up for this valuable resource, go to .

4006 Hamilton Street • Hyattsville, MD • 20781

Phone: 301.832.2339 • Email: • Web:
Program Brief: Mental Health Research Findings: This report from the Agency for
Healthcare Research and Quality (AHRQ) of the Department of Health and Human Services
is useful for those working with children and adults. The authors consider a number of
studies related to mental health diagnosis and treatment in the United States and have this
to say in the introduction:
About one in four adults in the United States suffers from a mental disorder in a
given year, with about 6 percent suffering from a serious mental illness. These
problems typically take a toll on overall health. For example, patients diagnosed with
a serious mental disorder die 25 years earlier than the general population. Related
behavioral issues such as substance abuse or domestic violence also remain
persistent problems.

This is important given some of the findings:

• Health care costs are significantly greater for women who were physically or sexually
abused as children than for women who left childhood unscathed.
• Children of women who are or have been abused by their partners seek more mental
and other health care than children of nonabused mothers.
• Young adults’ mental health problems are compounded by the number of barriers
they face when accessing medical care.

Read the report in HTML here ( and in PDF

here (

Dads and Paternal Relatives: Expanding the Family Network: This brief from the
American Humane Association considers the role of father involvement in their children’s
lives. The issue brief pays particular attention to how FGDM can facilitate fathers’
engagement and the resulting benefit to children and families. Online in PDF:
making/free-resources/issue-briefs.html .

Underperforming Schools and the Education of Vulnerable Children: This issue brief
from Chapin Hall
presents findings from several Chapin Hall studies on vulnerable children and youth
to raise the issue of what it would mean to improve academic achievement in
underperforming schools. Vulnerable children and youth are those who experience
crises or disruptions in their lives, often accompanied by parental absence or inability
to meet their needs, such that they are likely to become involved with public
systems. The brief provides evidence that a disproportionate number of these
children attend underperforming schools. It describes the impact of disruptive, and
often traumatic, life experiences on the behavior and learning of children, the
schools’ frequent response of placing these children in special education, and the
students’ poor educational outcomes in high school. The authors of the brief take the
perspective that the lives of these children and the performance of their schools are
intertwined. They propose that innovative efforts to improve underperforming
schools must be coupled with a focus on developing effective ways for teachers and
schools leaders to work with vulnerable children and youth. (Description taken in
entirety from
and-education-vulnerable-children .)

The brief is online in PDF:

schools-and-education-vulnerable-children . (Thanks to JCCF News Summary for November
24, 2009 for sharing this resource.)
Children's Exposure to Violence: A Comprehensive National Survey: This Bulletin
discusses the National Survey of Children's Exposure to Violence (NatSCEV), the most
comprehensive nationwide survey of the incidence and prevalence of children's exposure to
violence to date, sponsored by the Office of Juvenile Justice and Delinquency Prevention
(OJJDP) and supported by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC). Conducted
between January and May 2008, it measured the past-year and lifetime exposure to
violence for children age 17 and younger across several major categories: conventional
crime, child maltreatment, victimization by peers and siblings, sexual victimization,
witnessing and indirect victimization (including exposure to community violence and family
violence), school violence and threats, and Internet victimization. (Description taken in
entirety from

The report is online: .