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
Republican presidential candidate Mitt Romney is in Britain on the first leg of a week-long foreign tour that includes stops in Israel and Poland.
He is to meet political leaders and attend the opening ceremonies of the Olympic Games in the next three days.
The former governor of Massachusetts is not expected to make any policy announcements in London, but correspondents say the visit will give him the chance to show himself to the US electorate in the international arena.
…Critics have accused him of having a weak background in foreign policy, the same claim made about Mr Obama, who was a first-term senator during his 2008 White House campaign when he made a high-profile trip to the Middle East and Europe.
That tour culminated with a speech to hundreds of thousands of people outside the Victory Column in Berlin, Germany.
Source: BBC - Mitt Romney begins foreign tour of UK, Israel and Poland
Kids in the third grade are, on average, eight years old. Nowadays, 20 percent of third-grade boys and 18 percent of third-grade girls already have a cell phone, according to a 2011 study of 20,766 Massachusetts elementary, middle, and high school students.
By the time the kids reach fifth grade, 39% of the kids have cell phones, and phone saturation is nearly complete by middle school, when more than 83% of the students have a device.
“Adults — digital natives or not — can’t imagine what a childhood mediated by mobile, social technology that didn’t exist 10 years ago is actually like.”
via The Atlantic
// Photo – Parcel Brat