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CRS — Unaccompanied Alien Children: Demographics in Brief (September 24, 2014)

October 1, 2014 Comments off

Unaccompanied Alien Children: Demographics in Brief (PDF)
Source: Congressional Research Service (via Federation of American Scientists)

The number of children coming to the United States who are not accompanied by parents or legal guardians and who lack proper immigration documents has raised complex and competing sets of humanitarian concerns and immigration control issues. This report focuses on the demographics of unaccompanied alien children while they are in removal proceedings. Overwhelmingly, the children are coming from El Salvador, Guatemala, and Honduras. The median age of unaccompanied children has decreased from 17 years in FY2011 to 16 years during the first seven months of FY2014. A greater share of males than females are represented among this population. However, females have steadily increased in total numbers and as a percentage of the flow since FY2011. The median age of females has dropped from 17 years in FY2011—the year that was the median age across all groups of children—to 15 years in the first seven months of FY2014.

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Personal and Parental Weight Misperception and Self-Reported Attempted Weight Loss in US Children and Adolescents, National Health and Nutrition Examination Survey, 2007–2008 and 2009–2010

September 30, 2014 Comments off

Personal and Parental Weight Misperception and Self-Reported Attempted Weight Loss in US Children and Adolescents, National Health and Nutrition Examination Survey, 2007–2008 and 2009–2010
Source: Preventing Chronic Disease (CDC)

Introduction
The objective of our study was to describe perceptions of child weight status among US children, adolescents, and their parents and to examine the extent to which accurate personal and parental perception of weight status is associated with self-reported attempted weight loss.

Methods
Our study sample comprised 2,613 participants aged 8 to 15 years in the National Health and Nutrition Examination Survey from the 2 most recent consecutive cycles (2007–2008 and 2009–2010). Categories of weight perception were developed by comparing measured to perceived weight status. Multivariable logistic regression analyses were used to examine the association between weight misperception and self-reported attempted weight loss.

Results
Among children and adolescents, 27.3% underestimated and 2.8% overestimated their weight status. Among parents, 25.2% underestimated and 1.1% overestimated their child’s weight status. Logistic regression analyses showed that the odds of self-reported attempted weight loss was 9.5 times as high (95% confidence interval [CI]: 3.8–23.6) among healthy-weight children and adolescents who overestimated their weight status as among those who perceived their weight status accurately; the odds of self-reported attempted weight loss were 3.9 (95% CI, 2.4–6.4) and 2.9 (95% CI, 1.8–4.6) times as high among overweight and obese children and adolescents, respectively, who accurately perceived their weight status than among those who underestimated their weight status. Parental misperception of weight was not significantly associated with self-reported attempted weight loss among children and adolescents who were overweight or obese.

Conclusion
Efforts to prevent childhood obesity should incorporate education for both children and parents regarding the proper identification and interpretation of actual weight status. Interventions for appropriate weight loss can target children directly because one of the major driving forces to lose weight comes from the child’s perception of his or her weight status.

Education for Homeless Children and Youth: Consolidated State Performance Report Data — School Years 2010-11, 2011-12, and 2012-13

September 30, 2014 Comments off

Education for Homeless Children and Youth: Consolidated State Performance Report Data — School Years 2010-11, 2011-12, and 2012-13 (PDF)
Source: National Center for Homeless Education (U.S. Department of Education)

This September 2014 report provides a summary of the 2012-2013 state data collection required by the U.S. Department of Education of the McKinney-Vento Education for Homeless Children and Youth (EHCY) Program. The 2012-2013 data also are presented in comparison to the 2010-2011 and 2011-2012 data collections, as applicable.

Safeguarding Children of Arrested Parents

September 27, 2014 Comments off

Safeguarding Children of Arrested Parents (PDF)
Source: Bureau of Justice Assistance

The arrest of a parent can have a significant impact on a child whether or not the child is present at the time of the arrest. Depending on age and quality of the relationship with the parent, children may feel shock, immense fear, anxiety, or anger towards the arresting officers or law enforcement in general. Over the past two decades, increasing emphasis has been placed on examination of the effects of these events on children of various ages and the ways in which law enforcement can make sure that an involved child doesn’t “fall through the cracks.” Research clearly indicates that such events can and often do have a negative impact on a child’s immediate and long-term emotional, mental, social, and physical health. Symptoms such as sleep disruptions, separation anxiety, irritability, and even more serious disorders or post-traumatic reactions have been documented. In addition, later problems with authority figures in general and law enforcement in particular can arise if officers or other service providers do not take the time to address the needs of the child. Time taken with a child under these trauma producing circumstances is time well spent.

Health Issues for Judges to Consider for Children in Foster Care

September 26, 2014 Comments off

Health Issues for Judges to Consider for Children in Foster Care (PDF)
Source: American Academy of Pediatrics

Children in foster care have a host of unmet health needs, including not only physical health, but also mental, developmental and behavioral, and dental health needs. Addressing these health needs, as well as educational needs, improves children’s overall wellbeing, increases placement stability, and increases the likelihood of a child achieving permanency in a loving and supportive family situation.

Juvenile court judges are uniquely able to influence the health and well-being of children in foster care by asking about a child’s health status and special needs, ordering appropriate assessments and services, and ensuring that identified needs are addressed through the child’s court-ordered case plan. Judges can require that attorneys, caseworkers, and caregivers bring detailed information about a child’s health to court.

This booklet provides an overview of important health issues for children and youth in foster care. The appendix provides 3 downloadable age-appropriate forms that judges share with case workers or caregivers to obtain, record, and track relevant health information for individual children, thus improving outcomes for children and youth in foster care.

Entrepreneurship and Public Health Insurance

September 24, 2014 Comments off

Entrepreneurship and Public Health Insurance (PDF)
Source: Brown University

The social safety net provides financial security for millions of Americans, yet few studies have explored its influence on firm formation. This paper tests whether the State Child Health Insurance Program (SCHIP) affected business ownership. I use three identification strategies to isolate this effect: difference-in-differences (DID), regression discontinuity (RD) and a differenced version of RD that incorporates pre-policy data as a falsification check. Monte Carlo analysis suggests this differencing technique significantly reduces bias and Type 1 Error relative to RD and DID, and the procedure can be applied to a wide range of policy evaluations. I show that the local average treatment effect of SCHIP eligibility was a 29% reduction in the number of uninsured children and a 23% increase in self-employment. I also show that SCHIP increased incorporated business ownership by 31% and the share of household income from self-employment by 16%, suggesting these are high-quality ventures. The increase is driven by both a 12% rise in firm birth rates and an 8% increase in survival rates. I also document a large increase in labor supply, equivalent to 8.8 million full-time workers. The central mechanism is a reduction in the riskiness of self-employment rather than a relaxation of credit constraints. I find no evidence that observable characteristics are unbalanced between treatment and control groups. To the extent that entrepreneurs contribute to innovation, job creation or economic growth, these findings strongly suggest that public health insurance programs have spillover benefits on the supply of firms.

Innocents Lost: A Year of Unintentional Child Gun Deaths

September 19, 2014 Comments off

Innocents Lost: A Year of Unintentional Child Gun Deaths
Source: Everytown for Gun Safety/Moms Demand Action for Gun Sense in America

Federal data from the Centers for Disease Control indicate that between 2007 and 2011, an average of 62 children age 14 and under were accidentally shot and killed each year.

But our analysis of publicly reported gun deaths, highlighted in “Innocents Lost: A Year of Unintentional Child Gun Deaths,” shows that the federal data substantially undercount these deaths:

  • From December 2012 to December 2013, at least 100 children were killed in unintentional shootings — almost two each week, 61 percent higher than federal data reflect.
  • About two-thirds of these unintended deaths — 65 percent — took place in a home or vehicle that belonged to the victim’s family, most often with guns that were legally owned but not secured.
  • More than two-thirds of these tragedies could be avoided if gun owners stored their guns responsibly and prevented children from accessing them.
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