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Archive for the ‘children and families’ Category

Unhappy Meals: Sex Discrimination in Toy Choice at McDonald’s

July 2, 2015 Comments off

Unhappy Meals: Sex Discrimination in Toy Choice at McDonald’s
Source: William and Mary Journal of Women and the Law

This Essay reports on a commonplace form of sex discrimination that we unsuccessfully challenged in a lawsuit before the Connecticut Human Rights Commission. In a small-scale pilot study that we conducted 5 years ago (which was the basis of our initial complaint) and in a follow-up study conducted in 2013, we found that McDonald’s franchises, instead of asking drive-through customers ordering a Happy Meal about their toy preference, asked the customer for the sex of the customer’s child (“Is it for a boy or a girl?”) and then gave different types of toys for each sex. Moreover, our 2013 visits found that franchises treat unaccompanied children differently because of their sex. In 92.9% of the visits, the stores, without asking the child about her or his toy preference, just gave the toy that they had designated for that sex. Moreover, 42.8% of stores refused to offer opposite-sex toys even after the child reapproached the counter and affirmatively asked for an alternative. In the most egregious instance, a girl, after twice asking for a “boy’s toy,” was denied, even though the store a moment later had the “boy’s toy” in stock. These “fair counter” tests indicate that stores use discriminatory default, altering, and mandatory rules. They constitute strong prima facie evidence of disparate treatment on the basis of sex in the terms and conditions of contracting for a public accommodation. We also use our Happy Meal empiricism as a motivating example to explore the proper limits of civil rights law. While newspapers describing job listing as “male” or “female” have been found to be a per se civil rights violation, describing Happy Meal offerings as “boy’s toys” or “girl’s toys” may not, as a positive matter, offend courts’ current notion of equality.

More Canadian parents opting for home schooling their children; 29 per cent increase between 2007 and 2012

June 23, 2015 Comments off

More Canadian parents opting for home schooling their children; 29 per cent increase between 2007 and 2012
Source: Fraser Institute

n increasing number of Canadian families are choosing to home school their children, according to a new study released today by the Fraser Institute, an independent, non-partisan Canadian public policy think-tank.

The study, Home Schooling in Canada: The Current Picture—2015, notes that 21,662 Canadian children were registered as ‘home school students’ (with likely more not officially registered) in 2012, an increase of 29 per cent over a five-year period.

The study references the mounting academic literature about home schooling across North America and builds upon earlier Fraser Institute research from 2001 and 2007. It finds that while decisions to homeschool in the past were ideologically or religiously driven, families are now choosing the option for more pragmatic reasons.

For example, parents are choosing education-at-home because it corresponds with their personal circumstances such as having children involved in time-consuming extra-curricular activities; a child with a health or learning disability; or because the family lives in a remote location or travels extensively.

Supporting and Promoting the Well-Being of LGBTQ Youth

June 18, 2015 Comments off

Supporting and Promoting the Well-Being of LGBTQ Youth
Source: Child Welfare Information Gateway
From e-mail:

National LGBTQ Pride Month reminds us all to work against prejudice and toward a safer and equal society for all, including LGBTQ youth and families involved in child welfare. There are approximately 166,000 youth ages 10–18 in foster care in the United States. Of these youth, an estimated 5–10 percent—and likely more—identify as lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender, or questioning (LGBTQ). Additionally, more LGBTQ individuals and couples are choosing to grow their families through adoption.

In honor of Pride Month, we are pointing to our publications geared toward helping LGBTQ youth involved with child welfare and LGBTQ individuals, couples, and families interested in adoption.

State Post Adoption Services and Programs

June 11, 2015 Comments off

State Post Adoption Services and Programs
Source: Child Welfare Information Gateway

Includes website links to postadoption information provided by State child welfare systems as well as State-funded and State-contracted organizations.

These results are current as of Friday, June 5, 2015 unless otherwise noted.

CRS — State Children’s Health Insurance Program: An Overview (March 20, 2015)

May 29, 2015 Comments off

State Children’s Health Insurance Program: An Overview (PDF)
Source: Congressional Research Service (via Federation of American Scientists)

The State Children’s Health Insurance Program (CHIP) is a means-tested program that provides health coverage to targeted low-income children and pregnant women in families that have annual income above Medicaid eligibility levels but have no health insurance. CHIP is jointly financed by the federal government and states, and the states are responsible for administering CHIP. In FY2013, CHIP enrollment totaled 8.4 million individuals and CHIP expenditures totaled $13.2 billion.

Congress is actively discussing the future of the CHIP program because federal funding for CHIP is set to end after FY2015, even though the program is still authorized. With the current fiscal year being the final year federal CHIP funding is provided in statute, Congress’s action or inaction on the CHIP program may affect health insurance options and resulting coverage for targeted low-income children that are eligible for the current CHIP program.

Opportunity for All: Fighting Rural Child Poverty

May 26, 2015 Comments off

Opportunity for All: Fighting Rural Child Poverty (PDF)
Source: White House

Small towns and rural communities are home to millions of Americans, are a vibrant part of our nation’s economy, and include some of the most beautiful landmarks in the country. Rural America provides the vast majority of food, energy, and environmental benefits for the rest of the country, is the source of nearly 90 percent of renewable water resources, and is home to important service sector and manufacturing hubs. Despite this critical role in our nation’s economy, too many Americans in rural areas are not sharing in our nation’s economic growth. In 2013, 6.2 million Americans in rural areas lived in poverty, including about 1.5 million children.1 Moreover, in far too many of these communities, high rates of poverty have persisted for generations: over 300 rural counties have had poverty rates of over 20 percent in every Census since 1980.

While the fight to eliminate poverty is far from over, the 2014 Economic Report of the President documented that federal programs designed to reduce poverty and promote opportunity have cut poverty by more than one-third over the past 50 years. This report also shows that poverty in rural areas fell by nearly half between 1967 and 2012, compared to about one-quarter in urban areas.

Immigration and Child Welfare

May 26, 2015 Comments off

Immigration and Child Welfare
Source: Child Welfare Information Gateway

Immigrant families involved with child welfare may face a number of particular issues, such as legal barriers to accessing services, child trauma resulting from difficult immigration or refugee experiences, a parent’s detention/deportation by immigration authorities, and acculturation and language issues. This issue brief addresses child welfare’s work with immigrant children and families; examines current issues related to immigration and child welfare; provides examples of programs and promising practices; and points to resources for professionals, families, and youth.

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