HandsNet WebClipper Digest The WebClipper Digest is HandsNet's weekly overview of cross-cutting human services news from throughout the World Wide Web. Free trial WebClipper memberships are available on our public site at http://www.handsnet.org. ************************************ October 22, 1999 ** Alerts: TITLE XX CUT IN NEGOTIATIONS - Calls Needed to the White House. During negotiations between Senate and House appropriators, The Social Services Block Grant (Title XX) is being cut down to $1.7 B, below both the Senate-passed bill and the House Appropriations Committee bill. The Social Services Block Grant provides essential services to our most vulnerable children, families, disabled and elderly and needs to be protected. Any hope of reversing this proposal, lies with the White House, says the Title XX Coalition. http://www.handsnet.org/alerts1242/alerts_show.htm?doc_id=19788 ** Children, Youth & Families: CHILDREN AND GUNS - Children's Defense Fund launched its gun violence awareness campaign with public service ads and a report detailing the latest statistics on child gun deaths. Although the number of children dying from gunfire has declined, 4,205 children and teens lost their lives in 1997. That's the equivalent of one child every 2 hours, nearly 12 children every day, and a classroom full every two days. The report rates each state on its commitment to protect children from gun violence. http://www.childrensdefense.org/youthviolence/report.html CHILDREN'S MARCH FOR GUN CONTROL - is scheduled at the U.S. Capitol on Thursday, October 28. Contact Robert Kaplan, c/o The Workman's Circle, at (212) 889-6800 or by email at RAK@circle.org ON WHO'S WATCH? THE SILENT SEPARATION OF AMERICAN CHILDREN FROM THEIR FATHERS - An article by Coney and Mackey from The Journal of Sociology and Social Welfare #25, argues that the role of fathers has become two-dimensional in quality: men are either good fathers in that they provide economically for their children, or bad fathers in that they don't. Abstract from the National Center on Fathers and Families FatherLit Database. http://www.ncoff.gse.upenn.edu/database/index.html ONLY 10% OF ELIGIBLE FAMILIES GET CHILD CARE HELP - According to a new HHS report, a family of three earning $15,000 without child care assistance would pay between 24% and 45% of their income on child care. http://www.acf.dhhs.gov/news/cc98.htm GAINS FROM HIGH QUALITY CHILD CARE LAST INTO ADULTHOOD - A landmark study from the Frank Porter Graham Child Development Center at the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill links quality educational child care starting in infancy with positive adult outcomes. http://www.fpg.unc.edu/~abc INDEPENDENT LIVING HEARING - On Oct 13, the Senate Finance Committee held an enthusiastic hearing on S.1327, The Foster Care Independence Act which would provide states with more funding and greater flexibility in carrying out programs designed to help children make the transition from foster care to self-sufficiency. Testimony by Child Welfare League of America is posted at http://www.cwla.org/publicpolicy/101399testimony.html STATE EFFORTS TO REMAKE CHILD WELFARE: Responses to New Challenges and Increased Scrutiny - An Assessing the New Federalism papers says over the past 30 years, the demands facing the nation's child welfare system have increased, not only in scale but also in scope. As a result, the system is now by default being asked to serve families with a wide array of problems, a role it was never designed to play. State child welfare systems are also being harshly criticized for not adequately protecting vulnerable children. In response to these challenges, child welfare agencies have begun to rethink their overall mission, to seek out strategies to improve service delivery, and to focus more on accountability. http://newfederalism.urban.org/html/occa29.html ** Discussions: WEBCLIPPER DISCUSSIONS - Join us for the second week of the Working Families Online Roundtables. Over 20 researchers, advocates and direct service providers from around the country share thoughts on how poverty is defined and the impact of perception on the public will. This week we tackle issues of the "hard to serve" and the working poor as well as how different segments of society's attitudes and stereotypes affect the treatment of those in need. Come add your opinion. http://www.webclipper.org ** Community Reinvestment Act: BANKING BILL SELLS OUT COMMUNITIES - The National Community Reinvestment Coalition (www.ncrc.org) strongly opposes the banking bill that emerged from the House-Senate Conference Committee last night. The so-called financial modernization bill will let banks, securities firms, and insurance companies merge without the current limitations. At the same time, the bill weakens vital protections against discrimination and redlining by constraining the Community Reinvestment Act (CRA). http://www.usnewswire.com/topnews/Current_Releases/1022-127.htm INNER CITY PRESS ON FINANCIAL MODERNIZATION - The Community Reinvestment Reporter details last-minute back room negotiations (including in a Senate office building utility closet) on S. 900. http://www.innercitypress.org/crreport.html. ** Health: ONE STEP FORWARD AND ONE STEP BACK IN COVERING UNINSURED KIDS - In the 12 states with the most uninsured children, fewer children were covered under the Children's Health Insurance Program (CHIP) and Medicaid in 1999 than were covered by Medicaid alone in 1996, according to a new report by Families USA. Recent and very significant increases in CHIP coverage over the last few months were more than offset by reductions in children's Medicaid coverage - largely due to welfare reform. After welfare and Medicaid were de-linked, states were very slow in fixing the systems that were supposed to protect the health care coverage of families moving from welfare to work. http://www.familiesusa.org/1step.htm WORK INCENTIVES IMPROVEMENT ACT - The House this week approved a measure that will allow people with disabilities to retain Medicare and Medicaid coverage after they reenter the workforce. President Clinton urged Congress to address funding concerns and send him the measure. http://www.nytimes.com/library/politics/102099disabled-benefits.html REPORT ON NATION'S HEALTH HIGHLIGHTS ELDERLY - The annual "report card" on the nation's health produced by the CDC features a special chart book this year on the aging population in the U.S. A growing and increasingly diverse elderly population is living longer but still faces health challenges. A majority of noninstitutionalized persons 70 years of age and over reported they suffered from arthritis, and approximately one-third reported they had hypertension. http://www.cdc.gov/nchswww/ ALLIES AGAINST ASTHMA -The Robert Wood Johnson Foundation recently committed $12.5 million to a program to improve efforts to control pediatric asthma in up to eight communities nationwide. http://www.rwjf.org/grant/aaasthma.htm ** Housing: GOOD NEWS IN HUD BUDGET - A $26 billion Department of Housing and Urban Development budget for Fiscal Year 2000 was signed into law by President Clinton. Center for Community Change reports that in the areas of greatest priority for the lowest income families - Section 8, public housing, and homeless programs - the news was particularly good. There will be 60,000 new Section 8 vouchers in circulation. The public housing operating fund will receive a boost of $320 million above last year's level. Homeless assistance grants got a welcome increase of $27 million. Advocates were also relieved that at least some action was taken to deal with the crisis of opt-outs and prepayments by landlords in the project-based Section 8 program. For more from Center for Community Change see: http://www.communitychange.org/alerts HUD's news release is online at http://www.hud.gov/pressrel/pr99-213.html ** Hunger and Nutrition: USDA STATE-BY-STATE FOOD INSECURITY RANKINGS - Announced at the first-ever National Summit on Community Food Security show from 4.6 to 15.1% of households in every state and D.C. are either hungry or threatened by hunger. New Mexico, Mississippi, and Texas have the highest rates of food insecurity; North Dakota, Massachusetts, and South Dakota have the lowest. Nationally, some 10 million U.S. households (9.7%) were food insecure in 1996-1998--that is, they did not always have access to enough food to meet basic needs. For a print copy of the report call: 1-202-694-5139. Online at: http://www.econ.ag.gov/epubs/pdf/fanrr2/index.htm NEW STEPS TO FIGHT HUNGER - Announced by USDA Secretary Glickman include $5 million in USDA grants for community food projects. http://www.usda.gov/news/releases/1999/10/0414 RESOURCELINK - An industry-wide consortium led by Hewlett-Packard Company and America's Second Harvest unveiled ResourceLink, an Internet-based e-service aimed at fighting hunger. ResourceLink connects food suppliers with surplus food or products to charitable organizations that can use the goods for their relief or disaster-response programs. http://www.resourcelink.org/ USING THE UPDATED USDA NUMBERS ON NATIONAL FOOD INSECURITY PREVALENCE - The Sept. Bulletin of the Food Security Institute (FSI) at the Tufts University Center on Hunger and Poverty details the USDA's recent corrections to the Advance Report on Household Food Security in the United States, 1995-1998. In addition, the bulletin analyzes how the corrections change the original findings and provides important recommendations on how to use the new figures. For a copy of the Sept. issue of the FSI Bulletin, call 617/627-3956 or email: firstname.lastname@example.org. http://www.tufts.edu/nutrition/centeronhunger/fsi/whatsnew.html ** Jobs: THE POLICY SHIFT TO GOOD JOBS - A rapidly-growing number of U.S. jurisdictions - at least 46 - now apply job quality standards to companies that receive economic development incentives, according to a survey by Good Jobs First, a project of the DC-based Institute on Taxation and Economic Policy. The standards, mostly enacted within the last five years, range from wage and health insurance requirements to full-time hours rules. http://www.ctj.org/html/gj1099pr.htm ** Legal Services: SUPREME COURT ON IOLTA FUNDS - The U.S. Supreme Court has heard a Fifth Amendment challenge to the Texas IOLTA program. In Phillips v. Washington Legal Foundation, the Court ruled on only one of the three prongs of a Fifth Amendment Analysis. The case has been remanded to the Federal District Court, which held a bench trial on September 22-23, 1999. http://www.abanet.org/legalservices/iolta.html ** Philanthropy: WHITE HOUSE CONFERENCE ON PHILANTHROPY - President Clinton announced a new Task Force on Nonprofits and Government to strengthen and support the important collaborative efforts. The Task Force will develop a public inventory of "best practices" in existing collaborations between the Federal Government and nonprofits and work with nonprofits to apply these models to other governmental efforts. Philanthropic giving in 1998 was estimated to be $174.5 billion; individuals accounted for 85% of all contributions http://www.usnewswire.com/topnews/Current_Releases/1022-106.htm ** Poverty Definition: CORRECTION ON NY TIMES ON REDEFINING POVERTY LINE - A press release from the U.S. Census Bureau says that, contrary to a front-page story in 10/18/99 New York Times, the Census Bureau is not revising the definition of poverty established by the federal government in the 1960s, nor could it do so, since this decision must be made by the Office of Management and Budget. The Census Bureau is collaborating with OMB and others in a long-term study of many alternative "experimental" measures of poverty, none of which has been selected to replace the current definition. http://www.census.gov/Press-Release/www/1999/cb99-204.html ** Public Assistance: WHO GETS ASSISTANCE? - About 40 million people, 15% of the population, received government assistance in an average month during 1993 and 1994, before the passage of federal welfare reform legislation in 1996, according to a Census Bureau report. About 60%t of the poor received benefits in an average month in 1994. Individuals were more likely to participate in Medicaid than in any other program. The report provides a set of baseline estimates for the pre-reform era. http://www.census.gov/hhes/www/progpart9394.html. ** Rural Issues: NEW RURAL BANKING OPTION - Senator Richard Lugar (R-Ind.) and Farm Bureau leaders will hold a press conference on Monday, October 25, to announce a new bank providing competitive products and services to underserved rural residents. http:///www.farmbureaubank.com/ ** Welfare Reform: AN EARLY LOOK AT WORK FIRST NEW JERSEY - Welfare receipt among WFNJ clients fell steadily over time and their employment increased steadily. However, many are not receiving available post-TANF supports, such as food stamps, Medicaid, and child care assistance, that might prevent them from returning to welfare. The first in a series of six reports from Mathematica Policy Research. http://www.mathematica-mpr.com/wfnj.pdf Coverage of the NJ study from the New York Times notes two-thirds of those who were receiving welfare when the study began in 1997 remain below the Federal poverty level; half have experienced serious housing problems and been evicted, forced to stay in homeless shelters or moved in with friends or family. http://www10.nytimes.com:80/library/national/regional/102299nj-welfare-work.html DECLINES IN FOOD STAMP AND WELFARE PARTICIPATION: IS THERE A CONNECTION? - A paper from Assessing the New Federalism finds that the continuing strong economy and federal reforms do not adequately explain the unprecedented decline in the food stamp caseload. At all levels of income, former welfare recipients left food stamps at higher rates than families who had not been on welfare. Most food stamp leavers had incomes that still left them eligible for benefits. Families who left welfare joined other low-income working families who have historically had low rates of participation in the food stamp program. http://newfederalism.urban.org/html/discussion99-13.html Mail Sent: October 22, 1999 7:16 pm PDT Item: R01UmJ0 ************************************ The WebClipper Digest is compiled by: Sue Dormanen, HandsNet Editor email@example.com END FORWARD ------------------------------------------ **In accordance with U. S. Copyright Law, Title 17 - Section 107, this material is distributed without charge or profit to those who have expressed a prior interest in receiving this type of information for non-profit research and educational purposes only.** H. C. Covington firstname.lastname@example.org "To be truly radical, one must make hope possible, rather than despair convincing."