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September 2017

Things to Consider in September 2017

A Special Message from Janie Crecco: A Fond Farewell. 

Dear Friends and Colleagues,

After almost six years as the Training and Support Specialist at the Recruitment, Training and Support Center (RTSC) at the Federation for Children with Special Needs, I have retired to my decrepit farmhouse in Windsor, Maine. My husband and I have plenty of rehab projects up here, making sure the house stays upright. We are not too worried – it was built in 1820 and has survived almost 200 hundred Maine winters! 

I, however, have no desire to spend even one winter in Maine, so after Thanksgiving, we will be flying to sunny Puerto Vallarta to spend our time on the beach and become much more fluent in the Spanish language. We both have a long ways to go.   

 

Read More


States All Over the Map on Ensuring Educational Stability for Foster Youth
Of the 17 jurisdictions that have reported to the U.S. Department of Education, officials from seven – Oregon, Nevada, Delaware, Michigan, Maine, Tennessee and Vermont – said that they had complied with the law’s December 2016 deadline instructing “local educational agencies” to “develop and implement clear written procedures governing how transportation to maintain children in foster care in their school of origin when in their best interest will be provided, arranged, and funded.” All seven states affirmed that they are now transporting foster youth per the ESSA mandate. That leaves 43 states without a clear indication of compliance.


In First Year, Childhood Trauma Response Team Refers More Than 250 for Services
New Hampshire Public Radio presents an interview with Lara Quiroga of the Manchester Community Health Center on the new program that aims to ensure children who experience trauma, whether it’s witnessing an overdose or being exposed to violence, get the services they need. “We are seeing children exposed to all sorts of trauma certainly overdosing in the presence of an adult in their life. There’s other trauma like domestic violence, abuse, neglect, parental incarceration, things that are often associated with substance misuse.” This interview is also available as a podcast. See also: https://acestoohigh.com/2017/07/31/adverse-childhood-experiences-response-team-in-manchester-nh-helps-children-grapple-with-trauma-violence-addicted-parents/


National Council of Juvenile and Family Court Judges Resolves to Address Homeless Youth and Families
The resolution outlines the strategies for judges to better serve youth experiencing homelessness and opposes the criminalization of youth for behaviors that result from their lack of safe and stable housing. It encourages policies that ensure youth never spend a single extra day in juvenile justice system custody because of lack of housing options. It also calls for judges to provide strong leadership on this issue to convene child welfare and juvenile justice system stakeholders to develop strategies to improve responses to youth experiencing or who have experienced homelessness.


 U.S. Senate Passes Bipartisan Bill to Update the Juvenile Justice and Delinquency Prevention Act (JJDPA)
S. 860 strengthens the JJDPA in a number of ways – it gives clear direction to states and localities to plan and implement data-driven approaches to ensure fairness and reduce racial and ethnic disparities; allows for easier transfer and application of education credits earned for system-involved youth across school systems; and encourages states to ensure that programs and practices designed to address the needs of system-involved youth are both evidence-based and trauma-informed.


Just Kids: When Misbehaving Is a Crime
This article from the Vera Institute of Justice discusses how status offenses (behaviors considered illegal because of the legal status – being a minor – of the offender) criminalizes kids for misbehavior that poses little to no risk to public safety and may punish them for developmental changes and service needs that are beyond their control. It also disproportionately pushes kids into the system who are already undeserved and more likely to be subject to biases and harsher discipline—specifically girls, kids from poor communities, kids of color, and lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender, and gender non-conforming (LGBT/GNC) kids.


Useful Tools and Resources


Five Things Schools Can Do to Help Pupils’ Mental Health
Children’s mental health is becoming one of society’s most pressing issues and many teachers find themselves on the frontline – with the effect being felt in schools across the country. Here are some ways to start dealing with it.
 
Youth with Disabilities in Juvenile Corrections (Part 1): Improving Instruction
This free Module, produced by Vanderbilt Peabody College, is the first in a two-part series. It outlines the instructional challenges frequently encountered by teachers in juvenile corrections settings. It discusses some of the ways to address these challenges, including key instructional and behavioral foundations and recommendations for working with students with disabilities (est. completion time: 2 hours).

Youth with Disabilities in Juvenile Corrections (Part 2): Transition and Reentry to School and Community
This Module, second in a two-part series (see above), addresses considerations and recommendations for transitioning youth from juvenile corrections facilities back to community, school, and workplace settings (est. completion time: 1.5 hours).

Child Welfare Information Gateway Podcast Series
This podcast series, produced by Child Welfare Information Gateway on behalf of the Children’s Bureau, presents a series of interviews and group conversations intended to provide beneficial information for busy child welfare and social work professionals. The podcasts cover a wide range of topics and provide perspectives from communities served by child welfare agencies and tips and stories from professionals about implementing new services and programs, working across agencies, and improving practice.

RTSC Free Monthly Webinar: Basic Rights in Special Education on September 19, 2017 12:30PM-1:30PM EDT
Elizabeth Topaz, J.D., Senior Trainer/ Statewide Training Coordinator at the Federation for Children with Special Needs’ Parent Training and Information Center will discuss basic rights and procedures in the special education system, including referral, eligibility for special education and the basics of developing the IEP. Click below to register!
Register Here: https://attendee.gotowebinar.com/register/4793985431187406595
 


A Fond Farewell continued

Dear Friends and Colleagues,

After almost six years as the Training and Support Specialist at the Recruitment, Training and Support Center (RTSC) at the Federation for Children with Special Needs, I have retired to my decrepit farmhouse in Windsor, Maine. My husband and I have plenty of rehab projects up here, making sure the house stays upright. We are not too worried – it was built in 1820 and has survived almost 200 hundred Maine winters! 

I, however, have no desire to spend even one winter in Maine, so after Thanksgiving, we will be flying to sunny Puerto Vallarta to spend our time on the beach and become much more fluent in the Spanish language. We both have a long ways to go.

I have met so many wonderful Special Education Surrogate Parents these last few years. I can’t begin to express my profound respect for the incredible efforts you put in for your students every day – all as volunteers. You have had such an influence in their lives and mine. My belief in the core goodness of human beings has been greatly strengthened. In these crazy times, I really need that.

I will continue as “Virtual Jane in Maine” for a few months, until my replacement becomes comfortable with the routines and processes of doing the job. I am sure my incredible Supervisor, Renee Williams, and my wonderful colleagues – Elaine, Danielle, Jean and Linda – will find just the right person to take my place. 

Meanwhile, I will still be available at my email address, as well as by phone and via the SESP Support Questions form on our website: https://fcsn.org/rtsc/support-questions/. I will retrieve my messages a couple of times a day and get back to you promptly, and I will return for my final farewell at our SESP Conference in Marlboro on November 14th. I hope to see you all there!

Sincerely,

Janie Crecco