Foreign affluent families choose NYC public schools week, the New York Times revealed that many affluent foreign families who move to New York are choosing to send their children to public elementary schools in New York City rather than private elementary schools.  Typically, affluent New York families send their children to private elementary schools.  The Times reports that “a large majority of wealthy foreign-born New Yorkers are sending their children to public schools, according to an analysis of census data.”  The data shows that out of the 15,500 households in the city with elementary school-age children that have an income of at least $150,000 and both parents born abroad, 68% of those families send their children only to New York City public schools.

Shockingly, households with American-born parents who have an income of at least $150,000 send their children to public schools at only half the rate of foreign-born families in the same income bracket.  The foreign-born parents claim that the reason they send their children to public schools is because it imitates real life, and that diversity is lacking in the private schools.  Of course, these families are living in affluent NYC neighborhoods, but still choose to send their children to public school.  As a result of this influx of foreign households sending children to NYC public schools, some public elementary schools in wealthier parts of Manhattan and Brooklyn are experiencing an unexpected increase in foreign-born students, especially Western Europeans.

“In interviews, affluent foreign-born New Yorkers said that like all conscientious parents, they weighed various criteria in choosing schools, including quality, cost and location.… <Read More>

Is Poverty Causing Increased Child Abuse? few people doubt the devastating effects that poverty has on the well-being of families, poor teenagers in Texas are entering the foster care system at a higher rate than in the past.  The New York Times recently published an article about the poor economy in Texas and its correlation on the number of children in foster care.  Recent census data revealed that 1.7 million children, who make up 26% of the Texas population, are living in poverty.  Another startling statistic is that the number of child abuse and neglect reports has increased 6% in the past three years.  In one particularly poor county in Texas, the number of child abuse and neglect reports rose 36% in the last three years.

There is a strong correlation between the increase in poor families and the increase in child abuse and neglect reports, with no magic wand that legislators or judges can wave to make these families more affluent, or better able to care for their children.  Judge Darlene Byrne, a Texas judge who hears child protective cases, said the following to a poverty-stricken young mother who was pregnant with her ninth child but hoping to reunite with her other eight children who were in various foster care homes:

“These children did not make this mess; the adults in this room made this mess.  Love does not feed or shelter or clothe or take your kids to the doctor. Love’s a good thing, but it’s not enough to raise a kid.”  As harsh as this statement may seem, poverty can, and does, prevent parents from adequately providing for their children’s health and well-being, especially when a ninth child is on the way when she has eight siblings whom her parents cannot care for. … <Read More>

ACS Agrees to Implement New Unit to Obtain Housing for Children Discharged from Foster Care,r:4,s:24Administration for Children’s Services recently reached an agreement which will settle a class-action lawsuit filed against the agency.  The lawsuit alleged that the city agency allows children who “age out” of foster care (between the ages of 18 and 21) to become immediately homeless.  Children who enter foster care do so for one of two reasons:  there has been a finding of abuse or neglect against their parents or their parents voluntarily placed them into foster care.  The agency contracts out to other foster care agencies which monitor and provide services for the foster care youth. The children are monitored, as well as their parents, and in some cases, the children are returned home; otherwise, the children remain in foster care until they “age out.” Regardless, the agency does not offer services for these children once they “age out.”  State law requires ACS to supervise and assist in providing housing for people who have left foster care until they reach the age of 21.  However, an alarming amount of people who have been discharged from foster care are discharged into homelessness.

In order to settle this lawsuit, after two years of negotiations, the agency has offered to implement a new unit in ACS to oversee that foster care agencies create permanent housing plans for youths living in foster care.  Specifically, ACS will develop permanent housing plans for youths living in foster care.  It will work with foster care agencies to create the plans in time to find adequate housing.  The city and the agencies will monitor the young adults discharged under the plans until they turn 21. … <Read More>

New CA Law Allows Minors to Obtain Preventative Treatment for Sexually Transmitted Diseases without Parental Consent

A new Sexually Transmitted Disease (STD) law in California gives children ages 12 or older the right to seek and obtain preventative treatment absent parental consent.  Among these preventative treatments is the Human Papilloma Virus (HPV) immunization for cervical cancer.  The dangers of contracting HPV has become more and more known, especially regarding younger and younger children.  According to the New York Times, new research has found that through HPV transmissions, oral sex can cause throat cancer.  So, now, to get preventative treatment all a minor age 12 or older needs is to find a way to get to the doctor or clinic.,r:7,s:0&tx=74&ty=54

Does the state have the authority to take a minor’s sexual health decisions out of the hands of parents?  Hopefully the Supreme Court will get to review this legislation in the near future.  The California law seems to be at odds with generally accepted principles of family privacy.  California may have interfered with parental rights to the care, custody, and control of their child.  There are striking similarities between the new California law and the ever-controversial debate regarding a woman’s right to choose abortion.

Minors already have the right to get diagnosis and treatment for STD’s without parental consent.  This law protects minors who wouldn’t be able to ask their parents for consent to get preventative STD treatment (which is probably most minors); the law allows minors to make a decision not only about their sex life, but also about their own personal safety.  Minors who do this without their parent’s consent are nonetheless acting responsibly, right? … <Read More>

Celebrities Experience Domestic Violence Too! violence doesn’t only plague “normal” people – anyone can be a victim of domestic violence or dating abuse.  Even celebrities, as perfect as their lives may seem in the public eye, may have been victimized in one or more relationships.  Glamour magazine has launched a campaign featuring celebrities who are survivors of domestic violence.  Icons such as, Ashley Greene, and Emma Stone, have made videos to be featured as part of Glamour‘s “Tell Somebody” video campaign, in which they encourage those who are experiencing intimate partner violence to speak up and get help.

Celebrities Open Up About Domestic Violence – watch the video by clicking this link.

The message these celebrities are trying send is if you or someone you know is suffering from intimate partner abuse, TELL SOMEBODY.  According to the Domestic Violence Resource Center, roughly three out of four Americans know someone that has been a victim of domestic violence.

Hearing a celebrity discuss a personal experience with domestic violence may encourage victims of domestic violence or dating abuse to reach out, giving such victims hope and the desire to seek help.  Do you think the presence of a celebrity on a video will encourage abused women (and men) to seek help?  Tell us what you think because perhaps by seeing videos like this one, more victims will realize they are not alone and that help is available.

As long as one person is helped, this video campaign is a remarkable success. … <Read More>