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PathWays PA E-Newsletter: April 19, 2010

Federal

Help Keep Young Offenders Out of the Adult Criminal System

Every year an estimated 200,000 youth are tried, sentenced or incarcerated as adults in the United States, mostly for non-violent offenses. Young people who are tried in the adult system are more likely to reoffend than youth retained in the juvenile system, and when they are sentenced as adults, they are exposed to collateral consequences that affect their ability to further their education and employment.

The Campaign for Youth Justice is asking groups to show support for reducing the practice of trying, sentencing, and incarcerating youth in the adult criminal justice system by signing the National Resolution on Trying and Sentencing Youth as Adults.

Prosecuting youth to the adult system is a pathway to recidivism, abuse, and long-term negative consequences to their educational and employment options. It is a dangerous and costly practice.

Please sign onto the National Resolution today and show your support for keeping young offenders out of the adult criminal justice system. Groups wishing to sign-on to the resolution should email the Campaign for Youth Justice at jjstate@cfyj.org. The deadline is Friday, May 14.

Support Therapeutic Foster Care

Federal legislation has been recently introduced that would include Therapeutic Foster Care (TFC) under the Medicaid Services Restoration Act of 2010, HR 4787. One of the most critical provisions contained in the proposed legislation would be the creation of a medical assistance category within Medicaid for TFC that would provide clinical and rehabilitative services to nearly every foster child. Making TFC a service category would facilitate much needed access to clinical treatment services and evidence informed treatment standards to approximately 50,000 children and youth currently in TFC.

The Council on Accreditation (COA) has been named in this important legislation as a recognized accrediting entity with regard to Medicaid reimbursement. As such, COA accredited organizations that are licensed in their state to provide clinical or rehabilitative services with the goal of keeping children and youth in a community based environment will be able to participate in the reimbursement system. In addition, HR 4787 also protects and supports case management services and provides Medicaid reimbursement for eligible youth who are in psychiatric facilities.

COA supports HR 4787 and is requesting that you work with them in supporting this bill. Please contact your members of Congress and advocate for the passage of this important piece of legislation.

If you have any questions please contact James Duffy at jduffy@coanet.org or 212.797.3000, extension 226.


Help Low-Income Families Meet their Basic Needs

Does your organization care about helping low-income families to meet their basic needs?

If so, please sign this letter from the Coalition on Human Needs to preserve and build upon tax credits for low-income children, working families, and students.

Poverty and hardship are rising across the nation. Tax credits can help families buy what they need, while protecting children and boosting the economy. The Child Tax Credit, Earned Income Tax Credit, and American Opportunity Tax Credit (for low-income college students) can and have made real differences in providing income to millions of families. But without Congressional action, these tax credits will expire.

The voices of local, state, and national organizations are needed to show Congress that there is strong support for preserving and improving these tax credits. Please add your voice by signing this letter - and forward this request to other organizations.

Please sign the letter by Friday, April 30.

Information/Events

Time to Register Voters!

The Vote for Homes! Coalition is reminding everyone that the final day to register to vote for Pennsylvania’s Primary Election is today April 19.

Primary Election Day is Tuesday, May 18, 2010 and polls are open from 7:00 am-8:00 pm. Individuals registered as either Democrats or Republicans will vote for their U.S. Senators, U.S. Representative, Governor, Lieutenant Governor, PA Senate (even numbered districts), PA House of Representatives, State Party Committee Members and Ward Executive Committee.

If you or your clients need to register, forms are available at 1515 Fairmount Avenue (the Vote for Homes! Headquarters), the Philadelphia Board of Elections at 520 N. Delaware Ave., 5th Floor, and libraries throughout the City, as well as these additional locations statewide.

A limited number of volunteers are available to conduct voter registration sessions at Philadelphia area shelters, residential facilities, and other settings. Please contact Kendra Johnson at 215-232-7272 or kendrajohnson@projecthome.org to schedule a registration event at your site.

If you have any questions please contact Jennine Miller (jenninemiller@projecthome.org) or Kendra Johnson (kendrajohnson@projecthome.org) at 215-232-7272.

A Celebration of Our Youth!

It was once written that young people do not have anything to do because adults do not give them anything to do. We find ourselves in a continuous call to action to provide leadership to the youth in our community.

To answer this call, Empowering Through Action (ETA) and The Agogo Cultural Center Presents: “Off the Streets & On the Stage” A Celebration of Our Youth! This event will be a four part talent showcase where our youth will have a positive environment to display their talents. Each show will have four categories: Vocal (Hip Hop lyrics have to be positive), Dance, Spoken Words and Instrumental.

Auditions will be held on Saturday, May 8th and Sunday May 9th, 2010 at the Walter D. Palmer Leadership Learning Partners Charter School, located at 910 N. 6th Street, Philadelphia, PA. 19123. The showcases will be held on Saturday June 18th, July 17th, August 21st and September 18th, 2010 at the Walter D. Palmer Charter School.

Each showcase will consist of 20 children – five in each category. One child from each category and each showcase will be chosen to perform in our Grand Finale that will be held on October 23, 2010 (location to be announced) where they will have the chance to win thousands in prizes.

Call 866-382-0191 or visit www.phillykidsots.com for entry forms and more information. Auditions are by registration only – no walk ins! Sponsorship and vendor packages are available and volunteers are welcome.

PathWays PA Information and Initiatives

PathWays PA New Publication: Keeping it Real – Teen Finances

PathWays PA is excited to announce the completion of a new helpful handbook for managing money written specifically for teens, Keeping it Real: Teen Finances.

This guide not only discusses what teens should understand about their finances, it also assists them in planning for their future.

The guide focuses on such areas as understanding your paycheck, budgeting, banking, financial contracts, credit, and insurance. It also includes goal setting, finding a job, education, child care, and housing.

Change a Life: Become a Mentor to Foster Youth

The Achieving Independence Center (AIC) wants caring and supportive adults willing to build a friendship with a foster care youth. You can be that big brother or sister a youth in foster care needs by sharing your life experiences, time, and friendship. Having a shoulder to lean on when times get tough helps young people stay focused and not lose hope.

Whether it is providing them with caring support, friendship, or helping them with their aspirations (personal and professional), the AIC Mentoring Program can match you with a young person between the ages of 16-21 who could benefit from your knowledge and experience.

The AIC is a “one-stop” center designed to assist young people ages 16-21 achieve their future goals of self-sufficiency. The AIC is dedicated to providing support and real life tools for youth who want to make an investment in their future!

Help a youth build their self-esteem and achieve their personal goals. You make a difference by simply getting involved.

For additional information please call 215-574-9194.

Take Action on Earned Sick Time

48 percent of workers in the United States have no access to earned sick time, which means that if they are sick (or if their family members are sick) they must choose between working sick or losing their pay (or their jobs). If you are one of the 48 percent who have no earned sick time - or one of the 52 percent who do - please take our survey and tell us more!

There are bills at the federal, state, and local level to support earned sick time for everyone - here is what you can do:
  • Support the Federal Healthy Families Act! Under The Healthy Families Act, workers would have the opportunity to earn one hour of paid sick time for every 30 hours worked, up to 7 days of sick time per year. This time could be used to care for workers or their families, or could be used as "safe days" in cases of domestic violence. Tell your legislators that we need paid sick days now!
  • If you don't live in Pennsylvania, you can still support earned sick time. Visit The National Partnership for Women and Families website to learn more about campaigns in your area.
  • Tell us your story! Are you a parent who lost their job to stay home with a sick child? Are you a business owner who provides/supports paid sick days? Email your story to us at policy@pathwayspa.org.
  • Call your Representatives! If you live in Philadelphia, call your City Councilperson and urge them to support "Promoting Healthy Families and Workplaces," which guarantees earned sick time for all working Philadelphians. Not sure who your City Councilperson is? Click on this link and type in your home address to find out which district you live in: http://www.phila.gov/citycouncil/districtform/districtform.html.
  • If you live in Pennsylvania (but outside of Philadelphia), call your state Representative. Tell him/her you support earned sick time for workers. Not sure who your Representative is? Simply type your address here: http://www.legis.state.pa.us/cfdocs/legis/home/find.cfm.

Do You Need Help Paying for Post-Secondary Education?

PathWays PA offers Individual Development Accounts (IDAs), a matched savings program that offers financial education while helping you save for school. Through the program, your savings can be matched at a rate of three-to-one. If you save $500, we will give you an additional $1500 to go towards your school expenses.

Applicants must meet program income guidelines, be working (full or part time), and be enrolled or accepted into an accredited institution.

If you are interested or have any questions, please e-mail Kelly Binder at kbinder@pathwayspa.org.


Need Assistance With Public Benefits Applications?

PathWays PA provides assistance to those who need help applying for food stamps or other benefits. For further information, you can contact our office in Philadelphia 215-387-1470 or Delaware County 610-543-5022.

For more information about the services provided by PathWays PA please visit our website.

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