Human Services

CSG Midwest

Wisconsin Gov. Scott Walker has signed into law nine welfare reform bills as part of what he has called his  Wisconsin Works for Everyone” plan.

According to the Milwaukee Journal Sentinel, the bills require able-bodied FoodShare program participants with school-age dependents to work 30 hours per week (up from 20); create drug testing and work requirements for public housing programs; and put asset limits on the FoodShare and Welfare to Work programs, excluding those with homes valued at or above $321,000 and personal vehicles worth more than $20,000.

CSG Midwest

This past week, Arizona Gov. Doug Ducey signed a bill banning all marriages for minors under 16 years old. For 16 and 17-year old minors, parental consent is required and their partners can’t be more than three years older. Arizona is the third state to pass legislation to increase barriers to underage marriage in the last four weeks.

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For the first time since the Great Recession, the population of American citizens experiencing homelessness has increased.[1] Extreme levels of poverty, coupled with the steadily rising cost of housing in major cities, has made finding and maintaining housing for some virtually impossible. Homelessness in America is more prevalent among the youth population with an estimated number of at least 700,000 youth age 13-17 and 3.5 million kids aged 18-25...

Massachusetts, Minnesota, New Hampshire and Vermont each appear in the top five in two recent publications by Wallethub and KIDS COUNT, a project of the Annie E. Casey Foundation. Much can be learned from the select group of states highly ranked in both reports about providing children with the highest quality of life possible.

Organizations have routinely tried to...

CSG Midwest

Wisconsin appears likely to become the first U.S. state to establish a “Green Alert” system to help locate at-risk, missing veterans, The Washington Post reportsSB 473 was passed by the state Senate in January. Under the proposal, law enforcement agencies would use the state’s crime alert network (administered by the Wisconsin Department of Justice) to send along reports of missing veterans to broadcasters and outdoor advertisers. Similar alert systems already are in place in many states (including Wisconsin) for children, seniors and certain at-risk adults.

By Sara Dube and Darcy White
Policymakers want to improve outcomes for children and youth but often struggle with how best to allocate limited resources. In recent years, many have turned to evidence-based policymaking—the systematic use of high-quality research in decision-making—to help address this challenge. Extensive analysis, for example, has demonstrated that some interventions achieve outcomes that benefit children and youth—such as reducing child abuse and juvenile recidivism rates. But policymakers need access to these findings to identify, fund and sustain these proven programs.

Parents play the most essential role in a child’s life, but when families struggle or break down, states often become responsible for providing a safe and secure home base. There has been a shift in focus, however, to help families overcome challenges so that more parents and children can be reunited.

According to the U.S. Department of Agriculture, the average married middle income ($59,200-$107,400) couple can expect to spend $233,610 on each child for food, shelter and other necessities through age 17. Child care and education will take up 16 percent of those expenditures. However, child care costs vary dramatically across the country.

CSG Midwest
A new law in Kansas will bar “do not resuscitate” or similar physician’s orders for unemancipated minors unless at least one parent or guardian has been told of the intent to issue such an order.
CSG Midwest
Lost in the din of Kansas’ recent budget woes, an innovative mechanism is quietly funding dozens of early-childhood education and wellness programs across the state. The Children’s Initiatives Fund, Kansas Endowment for Youth and the state’s Children’s Cabinet were created in 1999 to support programs promoting the health and welfare of Kansas children using the state’s share of the national tobacco Master Settlement Fund.

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