Human Services

The world took a collective gasp at a deadly and coordinated terrorist strike in Paris, France, Nov. 13. Initial reports suggested that one of the terrorists was an asylum seeker fleeing Syria who had entered Europe through Greece, though the Syrian passport found near his remains was later deemed to be a fake. With more than a hundred dead in Paris, state leaders have had mixed reactions on what the proper response should be towards refugee resettlement in America.

On the eve of Veterans Day, Congress took a major step in supporting the nation’s 22.3 million veterans by passing the Military Construction and Veterans Affairs Appropriations, or MilCon—VA, bill with overwhelming bipartisan support. The first of 12 appropriations bills to pass both chambers of Congress in 2015, the Senate version provides $82 billion in discretionary funding for U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs and Pentagon construction projects. The fiscal year 2016 bill provides about $8 billion more than the fiscal year 2015 level.

According to the Jim Casey Youth Opportunities Initiative, 26,000 kids age out of the foster care system each year - and it comes with a big cost. Kids who leave foster care without a permanent family are less likely to graduate from high school or college, more likely to end up homeless and young women are more likely to become pregnant before age 21. This ends up costing society an additional $8 billion for each cohort that leaves foster care. To help address some of these negative outcomes, The Fostering Connections to Success and Increasing Adoptions Act, which became effective in 2010, extended eligibility for benefits to foster kids beyond the age of 18 – up to age 21.  Those benefits (Title IV-E) are available to young people if they are:

At the George C. Marshall Foundation, we spend a lot of time thinking about Marshall. Our latest endeavor is the Marshall Legacy Series, which explores the distinct and discreet aspects of Marshall’s long career to reveal those salient characteristics that served him so well. Its tagline sums up his genius and his achievements: Visionary in War and in Peace. We define these characteristics in five words.

Credit for Prior Learning is gaining traction as one strategy for advancing postsecondary degree attainment. While much progress has been made in institutions across the U.S., challenges remain in the widespread acceptance and application of prior learning to provide transfer pathways. State and regional collaborations offer promising models.

State policymakers hear frequently from employers that they cannot find skilled workers for open positions. Many of these positions are middle-skill jobs that require some form of postsecondary training, but not a bachelor’s degree. This article discusses state strategies to close skill gaps and meet employer skill needs.

Since 1996, 18 states lifted their bans on food stamp eligibility for felony drug convictions, 26 states have issued partial bans for certain types of felony convictions, and only 6 states have full bans for those with any record of a felony drug conviction. The six states with full bans are Alaska, Georgia, Mississippi, South Carolina, West Virginia and Wyoming.

It can be difficult for a member of the military or their family to vote while serving overseas. Luckily, both the federal and state governments are putting programs in place to help ensure military members’ voices are heard at the ballot box.

Making the transition between military service and civilian life can be a difficult challenge for service members. Many find themselves without a job or the means to support a family without returning to school to further their knowledge and skills. But making the move from a battlefield to a college campus can be a difficult, isolating experience for student veterans.

Although women now serve alongside men on the battlefield in places like Iraq and Afghanistan, there is one place where male and female soldiers may not be getting the same treatment. That place is after they return home and become veterans.