[Hpn] HandsNet's WebClipper Digest 5/26/2000
News and Alerts!
Sun, 28 May 2000 11:30:08 -0500
HandsNet WebClipper Digest
The WebClipper Digest is HandsNet's weekly overview of cross-cutting human
services news from throughout the World Wide Web.
MAY 26, 2000
TITLE XX/SOCIAL SERVICES BLOCK GRANT RESTORATION ACT - Urge Members of Congress
to cosponsor legislation introduced in both the House and the Senate to increase
the authorization for Title XX/SSBG to $2.38 billion (H.R. 4481 in the House and
S. 2585 in the Senate). See Children's Defense Fund's summary of both bills,
sample support letters and state-by-state chart of how much money your state
stands to lose:
ACTION NEEDED TO SAVE CHILDREN'S HEALTH INSURANCE PROGRAM - Ask Senators not to
cut CHIP and to restore the $1.9 billion in CHIP funds taken by the Senate
Appropriations Committee. Senate action on this issue could happen as early as
mid-June. See talking points and a sign-on letter from CDF:
SIGN ON TO THE FAIRNESS AGENDA FOR AMERICA - Based on principles of dignified
work; environmental justice; economic justice, democratic participation;
community empowerment; ideal of global non-violence, social justice including
racial and gender justice, the Agenda is supported by over 175 citizens'
organizations as well as members of the Congressional Progressive Caucus through
the Institute for Policy Studies' Progressive Challenge Project. Contact: Karen
** Children, Youth & Families:
THE DECISION TO INVESTIGATE: Understanding State Child Welfare Screening
Policies - Assessing the New Federalism examines the growing number of reports
investigated by child welfare workers and the declining proportion of these
reports that are substantiated. Some argue these numbers reflect an increase in
inappropriate referrals; others suggest that child welfare agencies have raised
the threshold of what constitutes maltreatment to compensate for inadequate
GORE UNVEILS AFTER-SCHOOL INITIATIVES - Plan would expand 21st Century Learning
Centers, offer parents a new after-school tax credit, challenge schools to stay
open late, help equip school buildings for after-school programs, and assure
high quality of programs.
LIVING CONDITIONS FOR THE CHILDREN OF THE WORKING POOR: A New Study of
Washington Heights, an Immigrant Community in New York City, from Children's Aid
Society, offers a rare look into the home lives of working-poor and low-income
families. The findings both point the way towards new initiatives and reinforce
the importance of work already undertaken.
WORKING FAMILIES ROUNDTABLE DISCUSSION - Child Care: Quality, Access &
Consequences - Discussion this week focused on what makes a high quality
childcare program. To join in, contact Kim Careway, firstname.lastname@example.org.
AS POVERTY CHURNS STUDENTS, MOBILITY MAKES LEARNING HARDER - One of the
education system's least acknowledged difficulties has become a major concern
for school systems across the country as housing costs rise, families change
neighborhoods, immigrants continue to stream into American's cities and teachers
leave the profession or shift schools. At many poor schools, neither students
nor teachers nor principals stay long enough for any curriculum to take root,
says a New York Times report.
SCHOOL INTEGRATION: POVERTY, NOT RACE, AS TEST FOR DIVERSITY - As courts and
legislatures move to outlaw race-based school assignments, a North Carolina
school district is taking a bold new tack to ensure diversity in its schools.
The experiment may play a defining role in determining the future of
CHICAGO SCHOOLS TO ISSUE PARENT REPORT CARDS - Checklist would monitor basic
parenting issues as one element of an expanded early childhood push.
** Health Policy:
POVERTY AND PUBLIC HEALTH - Research shows that socioeconomic status plays a
large role in determining how healthy people can expect to be throughout their
lifetimes. Health professionals are developing a wide range of programs that
not only connect the poor with doctors, but also help them address issues of
diet, exercise, and lifestyle Ð and create safer and cleaner environments.
12 MILLION YOUNG ADULTS LACK HEALTH INSURANCE - Double the rate for children or
older Americans, says a new report from the Commonwealth Fund.
FEDERAL FUNDS TO ENSURE HEALTH COVERAGE FOR POOR GO UNUSED - Three-quarters of
the money set aside to provide health insure for people leaving welfare -- $383
million -- remains unused because states have not claimed the funding.
Also see Families USA's newly revised chart that lists funds allowed each state
to assure that persons who are eligible for Medicaid are enrolled or remain
EFFECTS OF MEDICAID EXPANSIONS AND WELFARE DECLINES ON PRENATAL CARE USE - A
National Bureau of Economic Research paper finds more lenient income eligibility
requirements for Medicaid increased the use of prenatal care; that decreases in
welfare caseloads reduced the use of prenatal care; and that administrative
reforms (e.g., implementing a presumptive eligibility policy or simplifying
enrollment forms) had little effect.
MORE STATES MANDATE MENTAL HEALTH BENEFITS - KY, MA, NM & UT added mental
health parity laws this year, raising to 30 the total number of states with some
form of mandated mental health coverage, reports Stateline.org.
REPORT ON ORAL HEALTH FINDS PROFOUND DISPARITIES - The first-ever Surgeon
General's report on oral health identifies a "silent epidemic" of dental and
oral diseases that burdens the poor and calls for a national effort to improve
oral health among all Americans.
RURAL/URBAN DIFFERENCES IN HEALTH CARE NOT UNIFORM ACROSS STATES - Assessing the
New Federalism's geographic analysis of insurance coverage, health status,
access to care, and use of health services.
** Housing - Community Development:
BIPARTISAN AGREEMENT ON NEW MARKETS AND RENEWAL COMMUNITIES - New bill would
boost federal spending in low-income areas by $200 million in fiscal 2001 and
includes a host of federal tax incentives to encourage private sector equity
investment in the country's poorest communities.
HOUSE APPROPRIATIONS SUBCOMMITTEE MARKS UP FY 2001 VA/HUD SPENDING BILL -
Advocates were concerned that given the low budget allocation, programs would be
severely slashed. While no specific project suffered drastic under-funding, no
new programs or vouchers were financed, and many programs were level funded or
suffered minor cuts. Level funding programs at last year's levels reflects an
actual decrease in funding, since it does not factor in inflationary increases,
says The Center for Community Change Policy Alert for May 26.
FREE HUD TRAININGS FOR PUBLIC HOUSING RESIDENT LEADERS AND ADVOCATES ON NEW LAW
- The far-reaching Public Housing Reform Act of 1998, touches virtually every
aspect of public housing. HUD is sponsoring four training conferences for public
and assisted housing resident leaders and advocates. Attendance is free, and
resources are available to cover 85% of residents' travel and hotel expenses.
Dallas, TX: June 26-28 and June 28-30; and Kansas City, MO: July 17-19 and July
19-21, 2000. Space is limited, early registration is advised. Call
$21 MILLION DISCRIMINATION SETTLEMENT TO IMPROVE CA FARM WORKER HOUSING - HUD
officials said the case could set a precedent for managing farm worker housing
problems, because it commits several government agencies and a local Indian
tribe to jointly working on ways to meet future housing needs.
LOCKED OUT: CALIFORNIA'S AFFORDABLE HOUSING CRISIS - Housing constitutes the
single largest expenditure for most California families. Renters face the
greatest affordability challenges, and 43% of all CA households are renters . In
1997, nearly a quarter of the renter households in the state's metropolitan
areas spent more than half of their incomes on rent. All indications suggest
that the situation has grown worse over the past three years, reports California
HOMELESSNESS: CONSOLIDATING HUD'S MCKINNEY PROGRAMS - May 23 Testimony by
Stanley J. Czerwinski, Associate Director for Housing and Community Development
Issues, before the Subcommittee on Housing and Transportation, Senate Committee
on Banking, Housing, and Urban Affairs.
SUPPORTIVE HOUSING BRINGS COSTS SAVINGS - A study of supportive housing
programs in San Francisco that provide social and mental health services found
they more than halved use of emergency room and inpatient psychiatric care.
** Hunger and Nutrition:
NATIONAL NUTRITION SUMMIT MAY 30-31 - The 2000 Dietary Guidelines for Americans
are scheduled for release at next week's USDA/HHS National Nutrition Summit.
The Food Research and Action Center calls on the Summit to focus the nation on a
renewed commitment to ending hunger in this nation. The summit is the first
such meeting since the 1969 White House Conference on Food, Nutrition and
Health, which was credited with energizing anti-hunger efforts and spurring
later improvements in the national nutrition safety net.
For the Summit Agenda, Registration information, and how to access the Summit
via Satellite or the Internet, see:
** Income & Poverty:
NO HIDING GROWING INCOME GAP - Sequestered though today's wealthy may be, it
seems a good bet that even they will soon be hearing the voice of a majority
increasingly troubled by income inequality, writes a Washington Post columnist.
KIDS COUNT NEW HAMPSHIRE SEES GROWING GAP BETWEEN STATES WEALTHY & POOR CHILDREN
- Despite robust economy, 10% of state's children live in poverty. While the
average state wage has increased faster than the cost of living, pay in the
poorest communities has fallen behind.
POLL FINDS MOST SAY POVERTY LINE TOO LOW - 92% of Americans surveyed said a
family of four needs at least $25,000 to make ends meet and 69% said $35,000 is
needed. The federal government says poverty starts at about $17,000 a year for a
family of four.
LOW-WAGE WORKERS IN THE NEW ECONOMY - A poll released this week shows public
approval of welfare reform collapsed when survey respondents learned that many
of the jobs held by one-time welfare recipients don't provide enough money to
keep them out of poverty. Americans want the federal government to ensure that
welfare recipients get good jobs with decent wages and have access to
transportation and child care, the survey found.
NEW REPORT AND POLL ON NATIONAL TREND TOWARD PART-TIME, CONTRACT, TEMP WORK -
National Alliance for Fair Employment reports on unfair treatment, lower wages,
bad working conditions and other inequities suffered by contingent workers.
And part-timers in Seattle rally for rights.
** Social Security:
THE PERILS OF PRIVATIZATION - Creating voluntary personal accounts within Social
Security would change the fundamental character of the program and potentially
carve a path toward its eventual demise, says an Issue Brief from Economic
Policy Institute analyzing presidential candidate George Bush's
** State Budget Issues:
STATE BUDGETS AND RAINY DAY FUNDS - States are increasingly unprepared for
recession, says Center on Budget and Policy Priorities. Five of the eight states
that had adequate reserves in 1999 -- DE, IN, MA, MI, MN, -- are not likely to
be able to afford to maintain current spending levels in a future recession
similar in depth and duration to the recession of the early 1990s.
** Violence Prevention:
10 STATES CHOSEN FOR PROJECTS TO IMPROVE WORKPLACE RESPONSE TO DOMESTIC VIOLENCE
- The Family Violence Prevention Fund announces first-of-its-kind national
project to develop workplace-based programs to stop domestic violence. In AZ,
CA, IL, ME, MA, MN, NV, NM, NY & WV, leadership teams will link business,
government, and labor leaders, victim advocates, and domestic violence
coalitions to create statewide action plans and model programs.
ROUNDTABLE DISCUSSION - Participants in WebClipper's Family Violence roundtable
this week discuss long term resources needed for victims of domestic violence,
child abuse, and elder abuse. To join in contact Alicia Newton at
** Welfare Reform:
IMPACT OF WELFARE REFORM ON ASPIRING COLLEGE STUDENTS - New welfare rules
developed to create incentives for immediate employment have created equivalent
disincentives for pursuing higher education as a means to achieve economic
independence, says a report from the Jerome Levy Economics Institute.
Mail Sent: May 26, 2000 8:35 pm PDT Item: R01cQe9
The WebClipper Digest is compiled by:
Sue Dormanen - HandsNet Editor
H. C. Covington