Subject: Studies in the News 02-56 (September 23, 2002)

Studies in the News
Children and Family Supplement

Contents This Week

   Children and gun safety
   Technology and early childhood teachers
   Air pollution risks for California children
   Children losing health insurance
   Children's mental health
   Intergenerational mental health services
   Child care for foster children
   Day care for children with special needs
   Earned income tax credits
   Long-term welfare recipients
   Breaking the cycle of poverty through early education
Introduction to Studies in the News

Studies in the News is a very current compilation of items significant to the Legislature and Governor's Office. It is created weekly by the State Library's Research Bureau to supplement the public policy debate in California’s Capitol. To help share the latest information with state policymakers, these reading lists are now being made accessible through the State Library’s website. This week's list of current articles in various public policy areas is presented below.

Service to State Employees:

  • When available, the URL for the full text of each item is provided.

  • Items in the State Library collection can be checked out to state officials and staff.

  • Access to all materials listed will be provided by the State Information Reference Center, either by e-mail to or by calling 654-0261.

The following studies are currently on hand:



"Children and Guns: The Search for Ways to Promote Safety, Responsibility." IN: State Health Notes, vol. 23, no. 379 (September 9, 2002) pp. 1-2.

["Handgun violence among youth remains a pressing public health problem. [This article takes] a look at efforts -- by physicians, a state and a grassroots group -- to reverse a troubling trend."]

[Request #S6021]

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Technology and Early Childhood Professional Development. By Jessica McMaken, Education Commission of the States. (The Commission, Denver, Colorado) July 2002. 70 p.

["This document provides an overview of state policies regarding postsecondary distance education, addresses the distance learning opportunities available to early childhood educators in each state, reviews state early childhood educator pre-employment training requirements, and state programs offering distance learning opportunities for early childhood educators."]

[Request #S6022]

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Toxic Beginnings: Cancer Risks to Children from California's Air Pollution. By National Environmental Trust. (The Trust, Washington, DC) September 2002. 26 p.

Full Text at:

["Children in California are at greater risk of contracting cancer from inhaling toxic air pollutants than are adults. This new study claims that 3-week-olds in the state's five most polluted regions have been exposed to more pollution than the federal government deems acceptable over a lifetime. The study examined pollution concentrations in the Sacramento Valley, the San Joaquin Valley, the San Francisco Bay Area, the Los Angeles region and San Diego." Sacramento Bee (September 16, 2002) A7.]

[Request #S6023]

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Children Losing Health Coverage. By Rachel Klein, Families U.S.A. (Families U.S.A., Washington, DC) September 2002. 16 p.

Full Text at:

["The State Children's Health Insurance Program (SCHIP) serves millions of children and has greatly reduced the number of uninsured kids since its enactment five years ago. But this study warns that these gains may be reversed in the wake of federal funding decreases, and a requirement that states repay $2.8 billion of federal funds." Connect for Kids Weekly (September 16, 2002).]

[Request #S6024]

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Mental Health Services for Children: An Overview. By Holly Kenny and others, National Conference of State Legislatures. (NCSL, Denver, Colorado) June 2002. 28 p.

Full Text at:

["This report assesses state options for addressing the mental health needs of children. Between 5% and 7% of children use specialty mental health services every year. However, the majority of children who are likely to benefit from these services do not receive care. This report includes some example approaches, such as linking mental health services with early childhood programs." The Future of Children Newsletter (September 13, 2002)1.]

[Request #S6025]

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The Well Being of Our Nation: An Intergenerational Vision of Effective Mental Health Services and Supports. By Michael Allen, Bazelon Center for Mental Health Law. Prepared for the National Council on Disability. (The Council, Washington, DC) September 16, 2002. 89 p.

Full Text at:

["The mental health system in the United States is in 'crisis, unable to provide even the most basic services and supports to people with psychiatric disabilities,' according to this federal report. The 'fundamental problem' with the system is the emphasis on medicating people rather than helping them lead productive lives. The panel found that children who 'experience dysfunction' in the mental health system are more likely to become dependent on inadequate systems as adults." Kaiser Daily Health Policy Report (September 17, 2002).]

[Request #S6026]

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Child Care Services For Children in Out-Of-Home Care. By Casey Family Programs. National Center for Resource Family Support. (The Center, Washington, DC) 2001. 22 p.

Full Text at:

["Foster parents and relative caregivers need help with child care, and say access to good, affordable care is a factor in their decision to become and remain foster parents. This Casey Family Programs tool is designed to help develop, fund and expand child care services for children in out-of-home care." Connect for Kids Weekly (September 16, 2002).]

[Request #S6027]

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"Day Care for Disabled Hard to Find." By Debbie Cafazzo. IN: The News Tribune (Tacoma, Washington) (July 29, 2002) [Online].

Full Text at:

["According to this article, parents of children with special needs struggle to find day care, and many providers say their staff, facilities or funding is too limited to accept the disabled." Connect for Kids Weekly (August 19, 2002).]

[Request #S6028]

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Improving Children's Economic Security: Research Findings About Increasing Family Income Through Employment: Earned Income Tax Credits. By Nancy K. Cauthen, National Center for Children in Poverty. Policy Brief no. 2. (The Center, New York, New York) 2002. 9 p.

Full Text at:

["This brief examines policies that seek to increase family income by encouraging, supporting and rewarding work. The federal Earned Income Tax Credit reduces the income tax liability of low to moderate income working families and provides a wage supplement to some families."]

[Request #S6029]

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Work, Income, and Well-Being Among Long-Term Welfare Recipients: Findings From a Survey of California's Precarious Families. By Matthew Stagner and others, The Urban Institute. (The Institute, Washington, DC) September 2002. 35 p.

Full Text at:

["The study found that the population of long-term welfare recipients in California was not a homogenous group. Some families achieved self-sufficiency and were out of poverty, others were balancing work and welfare, and the rest were poor and very dependent on welfare. The group was diverse in terms of other measures as well; specifically physical, emotional, and social well-being. This study hypothesizes that the work, income, and dependency characteristics of the long-term welfare recipients will relate to the aspects of their family and social well-being."]

[Request #S6030]

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[The following studies, reports, and documents have been ordered or requested, but have not yet arrived. Requests may be placed, and copies will be provided when the material arrives.]



From Early Child Development to Human Development: Investing in Our Children's Future. Edited by Mary E. Young. (The World Bank, Washington, DC) 2002. 424 p.

["Armed with such alarming statistics as 125 million primary-school age children are not in school, and another 150 million children drop out of primary school before they complete four years of education, the World Bank convened a global conference to address the benefits and challenges of investing in early childhood development. Scientific studies now show how critical the first few years of a child’s life are in terms of later physical and mental health, behavior, and capacity to learn. The Millennium Development Goals endorsed by 189 member countries of the United Nations and the World Bank are targets for reducing global poverty. The goals specifically address the need for universal primary education as a means for breaking the cycle of poverty in individual families and in countries." NOTE: From Early Child Development ... will be available for 3-day loan.]

[Request #S6031]

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