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American Psychological Association;
Since September 11, 2001, American military service personnel and their families have endured challenges and stressful conditions that are unprecedented in recent history, including unrelenting operational demands and recurring deployments in combat zones. In response to concerns raised by members of the military community, the American Psychological Association (APA) President, Dr. Gerald Koocher, established the Task Force on Military Deployment Services for Youth, Families and Service Members in July of 2006. This Task Force was charged with: identifying the psychological risks and mental health-related service needs of military members and their families during and after deployment(s); developing a strategic plan for working with the military and other organizations to meet those needs; and constructing a list of current APA resources available for military members and families, as well as additional resources that APA might develop or facilitate in order to meet the needs of this population. At present, 700,000 children in America have at least one parent deployed. Having a primary caretaker deployed to a war zone for an indeterminate period is among the more stressful events a child can experience. Adults in the midst of their own distress are often anxious and uncertain about how to respond to their children's emotional needs. The strain of separation can weigh heavily on both the deployed parent and the caretakers left behind. Further, reintegration of an absent parent back into the family often leads to complicated emotions for everyone involved. This Task Force was established to examine such potential risks to the psychological well-being of service members and their families, acknowledging the changing context and impact of the deployment cycle, and to make preliminary recommendations for change and further review at the provider, practice, program, and policy levels. To meet the Task Force charge, we will first provide an overview of what is currently known about the impact of military deployments on service members and their families (spouses, children and significant others). In addition, we will discuss a number of programs that have been developed to meet the mental health needs of service members and their families, and we will describe the significant barriers to receiving mental health care within the Department of Defense (DoD) and Veterans Affairs (VA) system. Finally, we will offer several general recommendations for improving the psychological care offered to service members and their Military Deployment Services TF Report 5 families, and we will outline some specific proposals for how existing APA programs and resources can be employed or modified to support military communities.
National Coalition for the Homeless;
The housing and homelessness crisis in the United States has worsened over the past two years, particularly due to the current economic and foreclosure crises. On March 27, 2008, CBS News reported that 38 percent of foreclosures involved rental properties, affecting at least 168,000 households.1 The Sarasota, Florida, Herald Tribune noted that, by some estimates, more than 311,000 tenants nationwide have been evicted from homes this year after lenders took over the properties.2 People being evicted from foreclosed properties and the economic crisis in general have contributed to the growing homelesspopulation.
As more people fall into homelessness, local service providers are seeing an increase in the demand for services. In Denver, nearly 30% of the homeless population is newly homeless. The Denver Rescue Mission has reported a 10% increase in its services. The State of Massachusetts reports that the number of families living in shelters has risen by 33% in the past year. In Atlanta, Georgia, the Metro Atlanta Task Force for the Homeless reports that 30% of all people coming into the Day Services Center daily are newly homeless. In Concord, New Hampshire, the food pantry at First Congregational Church serves about 4,000 meals to over 800 people each month, around double the rate from 2007.
Of the 25 cities surveyed by the US Conference of Mayors for its annual Hunger and Homelessness Report, 19 reported an increase in homelessness in 2008.8 On average, cities reported a 12 percent increase. The lack of available shelter space leaves many homeless persons with no choice but to struggle to survive on the streets of our cities.
Even though most cities do not provide enough affordable housing, shelter space, and food to meet the need, many cities use the criminal justice system to punish people living on the street for doing things that they need to do to survive. Such measures often prohibit activities such as sleeping/camping, eating, sitting, and/or begging in public spaces and include criminal penalties for violation of these laws. Some cities have even enacted food sharing restrictions that punish groups and individuals for serving homeless people. Many of these measures appear to have the purpose of moving homeless people out of sight, or even out of a given city.
As criminalization measures can be counterproductive in many ways, the U.S. Congress recently passed and the President signed legislation, the Helping Families Save Their Homes Act of 2009, which requires the federal Interagency Council on Homelessness to devise constructive alternatives to criminalization measures that can be used by cities around the country.
Homes Not Handcuffs is the National Law Center on Homelessness & Poverty's (NLCHP) ninth report on the criminalization of homelessness and the National Coalition for the Homeless' (NCH) fifth report on the topic. The report documents cities with the worst record related to criminalizing homelessness, as well as initiatives in some cities that constitute more constructive approaches to street homelessness. The report includes the results of research regarding laws and practices in 273 cities around the country; as well as descriptions of lawsuits from various jurisdictions in which those measures have been challenged.
California cities have the least affordable housing and the most congested traffic in the nation. California's housing crisis results directly from several little-known state institutions, including local agency formation commissions (LAFCos), which regulate annexations and the formation of new cities and service districts; the California Environmental Quality Act, which imposes high costs on new developments; and a 1971 state planning law that effectively entitles any resident in the state to a say in how property owners in the state use their land. Cities such as San Jose have manipulated these institutions and laws with the goal of maximizing their tax revenues.
Meanwhile, California's transportation planning has allowed transit agencies, such as San Jose's Valley Transportation Authority and Los Angeles' Metropolitan Transportation Authority, to hijack tax revenues that were originally dedicated to highways so they can build rail empires that will do little or nothing to relieve congestion. New highway construction in the 1990s cut San Jose congestion in half, but congestion is again worsening as funds once spent on highways are now diverted to expensive and little-used rail transit projects.
California should change its planning laws to forbid cities and counties from conspiring to drive up housing prices in order to maximize tax revenues. California and its urban areas should also fund transportation out of user fees instead of taxes, thus making transportation more responsive to the needs of users instead of politically powerful special interest groups. Other states should avoid passing laws that create similar conditions. These recommendations and eight others in this report will greatly improve the livability of San Jose and other California urban areas.
National Coalition for the Homeless;
This report is the National Coalition for the Homeless' (NCH) fourth report on the criminalization of homelessness and the National Law Center on Homelessness & Poverty's (NLCHP) eighth report on the topic. The report documents the top 20 worst offenders of 2005, as well as initiatives in some cities that are more constructive approaches to the issue of people living in public spaces. The report includes the results of a survey of laws and practices in 224 cities around the country, as well as a survey of lawsuits from various jurisdictions in which those measures have been challenged.
There is no greater challenge in the United States today than income inequality. It has been 50 years since the War on Poverty began. We have made progress but not enough. More than 32 million children live in low-income families, and racial and gender gaps persist. For the first time, Americans do not believe life will be better for the next generation. We have both a moral and an economic imperative to fuel social and economic mobility in this country.The Aspen Institute was founded in 1950 as a place to address the critical issues of our time. Today, ensuring that the American dream can be a possibility for all and be passed from one generation to the next is that issue. This commitment is at the heart of the work of many policy programs at the Aspen Institute. Ending the cycle of poverty requires leadership and hard work across all sectors, from nonprofit organizations, philanthropies, and academia to the government and private sector.
This report recognizes the importance of learning from all sectors in tackling any challenge. Specifically, it builds on opportunities in the growing impact investment field. The report draws on the lessons from market-based approaches to identify tools and strategies that can help move the needle on family economic security. In this report, you will find the following: Case studies -- An opportunity to go under the hood on deals with the Bank of America, W.K. Kellogg Foundation, Acelero Learning, and others; Point of view essays -- Insights and lessons from leaders in the field; Deals at a glance -- Snapshots of impact investors and what they have learned, including the Kresge Foundation, Living Cities, and the MacArthur Foundation; and Survey results and lessons learned -- Trends among active and emerging players in the U.S. impact investment field and the lessons that can be applied to economic mobility in the U.S. We are pleased to offer this expanded perspective on impact investing in the U.S. and the lessons for investors, philanthropists, and non-profits working to build strong and prosperous families and communities.
This report documents the experience of three schools that were beginning to implement the IHAD model which combines mentoring with a guarantee of financial support during postsecondary education. They were observed for one year in the first independent evaluation of this approach. Although the study was too short-term to assess impacts, the study found the model promising.
This paper explains how District of Columbia Public Schools (DCPS) has moved toward smarter teacher retention, mainly by raising expectations and removing consistently low-performing teachers. The report also shows that DPCS is missing some opportunities to make even more progress.
Other key findings include: 1) performance-based compensation is helping DCPS keep more top teachers; 2) many DCPS principals do not appear to be prioritizing top teacher retention; 3) many DCPS principals are struggling to create cultures and working conditions that motivate top teachers to stay; 4) irreplaceables appear less likely to teach in schools that need them most.
The report recommends that DCPS continue its current policy reforms -- especially its higher expectations for teachers -- while monitoring the distribution of top teachers across the district and doing more to help school leaders retain their best teachers.
Economic and Social Research Institute (ESRI);
Describes the institutional supports and structures necessary to provide patient-centered care. Presents practices from a case study that could be replicated in a wide range of healthcare and social service settings. Provides policy recommendations.
Americans for the Arts;
This particular monograph will focus on one unique arts community located in rural southeastern Utah. This community is comprised of a group of extraordinary individuals - known as Inside Images - presently incarcerated at the San Juan County (SJC) jail in Monticello, a county-owned facility which contracts with the state of Utah to house state prisoners.
Earth Policy Institute;
America's century-old love affair with the automobile may be coming to an end. The U.S. fleet has apparently peaked and started to decline. In 2009, the 14 million cars scrapped exceeded the 10 million new cars sold, shrinking the U.S. fleet by 4 million, or nearly 2 percent in one year. While this is widely associated with the recession, it is in fact caused by several converging forces.
Center for American Progress;
Provides insight into the challenges facing employer-based health insurance through case studies of ten different businesses: two large multinational corporations, two medium-sized companies, and six small businesses.
Compares the content and structure of maternity care provided at a city birth center, a safety net clinic, and a not-for-profit teaching and research hospital; populations served; providers; costs; and the women's and providers' perceptions of each model.