The U.S. Interagency Council on Homelessness (USICH), along with its 19 member agencies, just released an amendment to “Opening Doors: Federal Strategic Plan to Prevent and End Homelessness.” Originally released on the same day in 2010, Opening Doors is the nation’s first comprehensive Federal strategic plan to prevent and end homelessness. The Plan provides a roadmap for coordinated, joint action among the 19 USICH member agencies in conjunction with local and state partners. Since the launch of Opening Doors five years ago, the trajectory of homelessness in America has changed dramatically. According to the 2014 Point-in-Time count, overall homelessness has declined nationwide by [Read further...]
Promoting Normalcy for Children and Youth in Foster Care
The Preventing Sex Trafficking and Strengthening Families Act of 2014 is a groundbreaking federal law designed to promote permanency as well as well-being and normalcy for youth in foster care. Juvenile Law Center has created this guide, Promoting Normalcy for Children and Youth in Foster Care, to help states embed the new “normalcy” requirements of the law into their own state law and regulation. The deadline for states to implement the normalcy provisions of the federal law is September 2015. The guide includes a detailed overview of why “normalcy” is crucial to health child and adolescent development and the federal [Read further...]
Grads of Life.org:  A Business Driven Toolkit to Employ Opportunity Youth
At a time of record youth unemployment in America, employers struggle to find skilled entry-level talent through conventional hiring practices. There’s an untapped talent pool of young adults, called opportunity youth, that’s overlooked by many employers for entry-level jobs. When they are prepared and proven, these young adults bring resilience, loyalty and grit to their work that help make them valued employees. Many employers have found that the best way to start working with opportunity youth and build an employment pathway is to collaborate with established partner organizations that already have a successful employment pathway model in place. The Grads [Read further...]
Sex Trafficking in the United States Issue Brief
“Sex Trafficking in the U.S.: A Closer Look at U.S. Citizen Victims,” an Issue Brief released on May 28, 2015, provides crucial insight into the realities of sex trafficking in the U.S. based largely on experiences reported by U.S. citizen survivors. The brief highlights key aspects of the U.S. sex trafficking industry, including how U.S. citizen victims are recruited and controlled, the relationships between victims and traffickers, common venues where sex trafficking occurs, and survivors’ level of access to opportunities for assistance. Based on information reported to the National Human Trafficking Resource Center (NHTRC) hotline and Polaris’s BeFree Textline in [Read further...]
This guest post was written by Adam Fletcher, an author, speaker, and consultant specializing in youth engagement. He is the founder of The Freechild Project and SoundOut, and the author of Ending Discrimination Against Young People and The Guide to Student Voice.  We were honored to have him join us as a speaker at Connection 2014. His presentation underlined the value of creating meaningful engagement with youth, which he expands upon in this post. More great speakers like Adam will be joining us for Connection 2015! There is a distinct difference between your life and the lives of the people you serve everyday in [Read further...]