The number of U.S. children in foster care has dropped for the sixth straight year, falling to about 400,000 compared to more than 520,000 a decade ago, according to new federal figures demonstrating the staying power of reforms even amid economic turbulence.
The drop results primarily from a shift in the policies and practices of state and county child welfare agencies. Many have shortened stays in foster care, expedited adoptions and expanded preventive support for troubled families so more children avoid being removed from home in the first place.
The average length of stay in foster care has been reduced by more than 10 percent since 2002, according to the report. The mean stay is now 23.7 months.
Of the children in foster care as of Sept. 30, 52 percent were boys. Twenty-one percent were Hispanic, 27 percent black and 41 percent white; 104,236 of them were available for adoption.
Source: The Washington Post – Number of children in foster care drops for 6th straight year, to 400,000, despite hard times
Of those users, a growing number are starting to prefer using the site in their own native language, Arabic.
Of the 39+ million Arabic users on Facebook, 39% prefer to view the site in their native language, while 36% like it in English.
As more users in the region are coming online, with an obvious desire to access sites in Arabic, there is a rising demand for content that appeals to them, and quite a few social media sites are trying to meet that demand.
Twitter recently added support for right-to-left languages, including in Arabic, while Storify is working with a team of volunteers in the Middle East to translate their interface into Arabic.
Arabic is one of the fastest growing languages on sites like Twitter and Wikipedia, and with Yahoo having just licensed the technology behind smart transliteration tool Yamli, it is becoming increasingly easy for Arabic speakers to interact in their mother tongue online.
via The Next Web
The numbers are not overwhelming, by any means, considering that there are 152 million users in the U.S. and 232 million in Europe, but it is a positive sign.
// Photo – Sean MacEntee
Flurry recently quantified China’s meteoric adoption of iOS and Android applications. While China ranked 10th in application sessions at the beginning of 2011, it finished the year in 2nd place, only behind the United States. With its large population and rapidly emerging middle class, adoption of apps vaulted China into the position of world’s 2nd largest app economy.
This report reveals that, for the first time ever, China now leads in new smart device adoption (iOS and Android smartphones and tablets).
With China now activating more devices per month than the U.S., this means that the gap is closing between the two countries in terms of installed base.
Ten fastest growing countries in terms of app sessions:
No matter how we slice it, the application market continues to grow at unprecedented rates, and increasingly across more borders. With smart devices adoption rates more than four times greater than those witnessed during the 1980s PC revolution and twice as great as those seen during the 1990s Internet Boom, no other consumer technology has been more accessible than smart device application software. It’s literally taking over the world.
via The Flurry Blog
From the Pew Global Attitudes Project:
In 15 of 21 countries, at least 25% of those polled use social networking sites.
Israel (53%) and the U.S. (50%) top the list.
About four-in-ten of all adults in Britain (43%), Russia (43%), Spain (42%), Lithuania (39%) and Poland (39%). Among this group, Russia is the only country where nearly all internet users are on social networking sites. Only 6% of Russian internet users say they do not go on these sites.
Germany, France, and Japan are the only countries polled where more internet users say they do not go on social networking sites than say they do. While 35% of Germans use social networking sites, 44% go online but do not use such sites; the comparable numbers are 35% and 38% in France and 25% and 33% in Japan.
About three-in-ten are on social networking sites in Ukraine (30%), Turkey (29%), Jordan (29%), and Egypt (28%).
Social networking is generally more common in higher income nations; however, this is largely driven by the fact that wealthier countries have higher rates of internet access. People in lower income nations who have online access use social networking at rates that are as high, or higher, than those found in affluent countries.
In most of the countries surveyed, there has been only marginal change in social networking use since 2010. Two notable exceptions are Egypt and Russia – countries where the role of social media in recent political upheaval has been the subject of considerable attention. In both nations, usage has increased by ten percentage points over the past year, from 18% in 2010 to 28% in 2011 in Egypt and from 33% to 43% in Russia.