hsn / human service newsbytes

a publication of the National Human Services Assembly,
March 31, 2014

‘It is not anti-poverty we need to be about. It is pro-opportunity, pro-economic mobility, and pro-family economic strengthening.’

— NHSA CEO Irv Katz, reframing the human service sector’s key challenges during a recent interview with The Chronicle of Philanthropy


Children & Youth

As many as 70 percent of justice-involved youth have a diagnosable mental health disorder, according to the Mental Health and Juvenile Justice Collaborative for Change. Better Solutions for Youth with Mental Health Needs in the Juvenile Justice System encourages community-based treatment approaches and reviews the science on the connection between mental health and juveniles’ collision with the justice system.

Sustained participation in afterschool activities during kindergarten through fifth grades is linked to higher math scores, with low-income students reaping especially large benefits, says a report on the value of afterschool programs by researchers at the University of California/Irvine. Other correlated benefits include better work ethic and higher grades.

Overall child well-being in the United States saw little improvement and has not recovered from the Great Recession of 2008-2009, reports the Foundation for Child Development (FCD) in the 2013 National Child and Youth Well-Being Index (CWI). However, gains were seen in some areas, for example, lowered teenage birth rates, violent crime victimizations and violent crime offenses. Reductions in federal spending and the continued fallout from the recession have eroded previous gains.

“I Am My Brother’s Keeper” answers the age-old question in the affirmative. This short thinkpiece by CLASP paints a local picture of the potential impact of President Obama’s new “My Brother’s Keeper” national initiative to draw $200 million in private dollars to support the ambitions of boys and young men of color. CLASP last year released Investing in Boys and Young Men of Color: The Promise and Opportunity, a policy and action framework.



“Are You Ready for the New ‘America the Beautiful’?” asks Generations United Executive Director Donna Butts via a National Journal op-ed on the country’s preparedness for ongoing demographic changes. In reaction to negative Tweets about the Coca-Cola and Cheerios ads during the Super Bowl, she says “Wake up and smell the demographics.”

Areas with greater mobility share five characteristics, according to Where is the Land of Opportunity?: The Geography of Intergenerational Mobility in the U.S. spotlighted by the Equality of Opportunity Project. The five linked characteristics involve K-12 school quality, less income inequality, greater social capital, more stable families, and lessened segregation by race and income.

Global multi-generational workforce learning is a two-way street, says Impact International's new trend report. “Just as "Reverse Mentoring” is increasingly showing that there is much senior executives can learn from younger generations, Multi-generational Learning is proving to be a fresh, democratic approach that recognises that everyone in an organisation has something to bring to the table,” says the UK-based firm.

Poverty & Community

Seventy-thousand fewer low-income families have housing vouchers as a result of federal sequestration, reports the Center for Budget and Policy Priorities upon a review of new HUD data. Low-income seniors, people with disabilities, and families with children will “continue to feel the effects of the across-the-board sequestration cuts” which kicked in last March, says CBPP. An interactive map shows the state-by-state impact.

School-age kids can make a difference in battling hunger in their communities, asserts Youth Service America (YSA) and partner Sodexo Foundation in A Teacher's Guide to Engaging a New Generation of Anti-Hunger Leaders. The guide — helpful for in-school and OST professionals and volunteers — highlights best-practices for K-12 under the Semester of Service framework.

Nonprofits are preparing for the next phase of foreclosure-response stabilization work in hard-hit communities, as described in the Community Development Investment Review. Examined are the lessons of entrepreneurial nonprofits and public-sector leaders.

Nonprofit Sector

The Salvation Army’s 2014 Yearbook moves its message by factually detailing the impact of one of the largest worldwide not-for-profit operations in history. The scope of the organization’s actions is “mind-boggling,” according to a long-time U.S. human services leader.

Where in the core collaboration cycle is your nonprofit? “Rereading ‘Collective Impact’: Three Lessons,” a Stanford Social Innovation Review article, takes a fresh look at the promise of achieving change through long-term relationship-building — and how challenging that can be in the tricky funding environment of the nonprofit sector.


The Ready by 21 State Policy Survey: Child and Youth Policy Coordinating Bodies in the U.S helps state officials and advocates looking for ways to create or strengthen youth coordinating bodies. The survey assesses coordinating bodies in the areas of partnerships, goals, data, accomplishments and challenges.

State earned income tax credits (EITCs) build upon the long-term positive effects from the federal EITC, reports Pew Stateline. Twenty-five states plus Washington, D.C. have EITCs; last year, Colorado and Ohio created EITCs while Oregon and Iowa improved theirs. Benefits include poverty-reduction, improved school performance, and better earnings as adults, says the Center on Budget and Policy Priorities.

All 50 states have experienced widening income inequality in recent decades, according to a new report published by EPI for the Economic Analysis and Research Network (EARN). Between 1979 and 2007, the average income of the bottom 99 percent of U.S. taxpayers grew by 18.9 percent, while the average income of the top 1 percent grew over 10 times as much—by 200.5 percent.


About 263,000 fewer children received child care assistance through the Child Care and Development Block Grant (CCDBG) in 2012 than in 2006, according to data newly released by the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) and analyzed by CLASP. State spending on child care assistance, including from CCDBG and the TANF block grant, was at a 10-year low. The number of children receiving CCDBG-funded assistance was at a 14-year low. As federal and state policymakers and funders consider the importance of their investments, increasing the economic security of low-income families and expanding access to quality child care is a good place to start, says CLASP. 


Extensive workshop and learning programs await attendees at MONUMENTAL, the 25th Annual National Service-Learning Conference convened by National Youth Leadership Council and co-hosted by Youth Service America. April 9-12, 2014 in Washington, D.C. Register online.

Are there specific interventions that decrease bullying? That’s just one of the questions to be explored at the Building Capacity to Reduce Bullying and Its Impact on Youth Across the Lifecourse workshop hosted by the Institute of Medicine (IOM) and the National Research Council (NRC). April 9-10, 2014 in Washington, D.C. View the workshop agenda and register for in-person or Webcast attendance at this limited-space event.

The 2014AJFCA & IAJVS Annual Conference is a two-and-a-half day interactive and informative experience in leading Jewish family service and vocational agencies in their communities and learn together interesting and innovative ideas from the field. This year's conference theme is Inspiring Creativity in a Changing World. May 4-6, 2014 in Montreal, Quebec. Register today for early-bird rates.

Essentials of Asset Building prepares participants to deliver two core Search Institute community-centered workshops: Everyone’s an Asset Builder and Sharing the Asset Message. This training of trainers event is May 1-2, 2014 in Minneapolis. Register.

Children of low-income households with even a small savings account in their name are three times more likely to go to college and four times more likely to graduate, says CFED. CFED’s 2014 Children’s Savings Conference: From Aspirations to Achievement convenes stakeholders in Washington, D.C. on April 29-30, 2014.


Charitable giving rose 4.9 percent in 2013, with large nonprofits (at least $10 million in fundraising) up some 5.7 percent, according to Blackbaud’s Charitable Giving Report 2013. Mid-size organizations (fundraising $1 million to $10 million) brought in 3.8 percent more, and small organizations (less than $1 million) raised 3.6 percent more in 2013. Online giving was up 13.5 percent and accounted for 6.4 percent of all charitable giving in 2013. Blackbaud says the increases were the largest year-over-year in overall giving since the onset of the Great Recession.

Forget the 80/20 rule,because “97 percent of your money is going to come from 3 percent of your constituency,” says Network for Good in a brief post, “Finding Prospects, Building Relationships, and Enticing Investors.”

Fisher House Foundation in partnership with Newman’s Own announces grants of up to $50,000 in recognition of the most innovative ideas to improve the quality of life of veterans and active duty, Reserve, and National Guard service members and their families. Deadline: April 23, 2014. Online applications only.

The Youth Justice Leadership Institute is looking for fellowship candidates “who want to set the juvenile justice world on fire.” A competition is now open for a robust, year-long program run by the National Juvenile Justice Network that focuses on cultivating and supporting professionals of color. Application deadline: April 7, 2014.

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