Subject: Studies in the News 03-47 (July 23, 2003)

Studies in the News
Children and Family Supplement

Contents This Week

Introductory Material EDUCATION
   Child care workforce reform in U.K and Sweden
   Benefits of supporting early childhood needs
   Brain growth and autism
   Retiring dentists
   IDEA and young children
   State health coverage
   Children's mental health
   Disaster and role of child care workers
   Child care assistance and employment
   Child well-being and public perception
   Low-income fathers and child support
   Poor black children and welfare reform
   Poor families and children's needs
   Assessing foster care children
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:



Re-Forming the Education and Care Workforce in England, Scotland and Sweden. By Peter Moss, Thomas Coram Research Unit, Institute of Education, London. (UNESCO, Paris, France) May 2003. 2 p.

Full Text at:

Moss concludes that in England and Scotland, the resulting impact [of reform] on the workforce has not been signficant since it continues to be divided between teachers, assistants and child care workers. In Sweden reforms may result in more equality in the broad education workforce because it opted for a more sweeping structural reform: The objective is a single profession, working with a wide age range and across differing settings—from young children in nursery to teenagers in gymnasia. The thinking is radical, that integration requires new practice across the system—not traditional methods of school teaching extended down the age range." Exchange EveryDay (July 4, 2003).]

[Request #S8660]

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Supporting Early Childhood Success: Action Kit For Municipal Leaders. By Julie Bosland, National League of Cities. (The League, Washington, DC) 2003. 13 p.

Full Text at:

["Municipal initiatives to support parents, promote child health and safety, and improve access to high-quality child care can help cities in five key ways: 1) Positive experiences between birth and school entry boost a child's healthy development and future prospects; 2) Families are more stable when the needs of their young children are met; 3) When children enter school ready to learn, schools are better able to meet high standards and student needs; 4) Strong early childhood programs are a valuable asset for local economic development; 5) Early childhood initiatives that expand access to quality services help level the playing field."]

[Request #S8661]

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"Evidence of Brain Overgrowth in the First Year of Life in Autism." By Eric Courchesne and others. IN: JAMA: Journal of American Medical Association, vol. 290 no. 3 (July 16, 2003) pp. 337-344.

["Autism, a devastating disorder marked by poor social and learning skills, may be caused by reduced brain size at birth followed by bursts of brain growth months later.... Autism ... affects one in every 160 people and is growing worldwide. In California, 21,000 people have been diagnosed with true autism ... double the number in 1999." San Diego Tribune (July 16, 2003) 1.]

[Request #S8662]

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The Effect of Retiring Dentists. By Tara Straw, National Conference of State Legislatures. Legisbrief. Vol. 11, No. 30. (NCSL, Denver, Colorado) June/July 2003. 2 p.

["The number of dentists in every state will severely decline in the next two decades because most are near retirement and too few are entering the profession ... States are currently using options to bring more dental students in -- such as loan repayment programs and buying slots in out-of-state dental schools ...Some states are offering incentives to retired dentists for the cost of license renewal and malpractice insurance if they perform 100 hours of volunteer dentistry over a year."]

[Request #S8663]

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A Family Perspective on the Individuals With Disabilities Education Act, Part C: Infants and Toddlers With Disabilities. By Elizabeth Gross, Policy Institute for Family Impact Seminars. (The Institute, Madison, Wisconsin) 2003. 12 p.

Full Text at:

["Part C of the Individuals with Disabilities Education Act (IDEA) is a federal grant program designed to provide, facilitate, and coordinate early intervention services for disabled infants, toddlers and their families. In 1999-2000, more than 205,000 infants, toddlers, and their families--or 1.8 percent of all U.S. infants and toddlers--accessed these services. This paper looks at how well Part C helps young families and coordinates services." Connect for Kids (July 7, 2003).]

[Request #S8664]

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MCH Update 2002: State Health Coverage for Low-Income Pregnant Women, Children, and Parents. By NGA Center for Best Practice. (The Center, Washington, DC) June 2003. 23 p.

Full Text at:

["Despite the dire fiscal situation faced by states, Medicaid eligibility for both children and pregnant women remained stable, as did State Children's Health Insurance Program (SCHIP) eligibility.... In addition, states are still exploring the options that allow them to expand Medicaid eligibility to parents of Medicaid and SCHIP children."]

[Request #S8665]

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Beginnings Workshop: Children's Mental Health [Issue Theme.] IN: Child Care Information Exchange, no. 152 (July/August 2003) pp. 33-47.

[Includes: "Granting Children Their Emotions"; "Double Vision: Parents and Professional Perspectives on Our Family's Year in Crisis;" "Coping with Stress and Surviving Challenging Times;" and others.]

[Request #S8666]

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Who Leaves? Who Stays?: Child Care Workers in the Aftermath of September 11th. By Deborah Phillips and others. (Center for the Study of Child Care Employment, Berkeley, California) Winter 2003. 2 p.

Full Text at:

["These findings indicate a pressing need to enhance the access of child care teachers and providers — not only in heavily impacted areas of the country, but across the nation — to mental health professionals who are trained to provide assistance in the aftermath of disasters. They also reveal yet another way in which child care providers are a vital source of family support during times of crisis, as well as day by day."]

[Request #S8667]

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New Child Care Resources Are Needed to Prevent the Loss of Child Care Assistance for Hundreds of Thousands of Children in Working Families. By Sharon Parrott and Jennifer Mezey, Center for Law and Social Policy. (The Center, Washington, DC) July 15, 2003. 6 p.

Full Text at:

["Despite the attention that has been paid to TANF work requirements in the context of the TANF reauthorization debate, the lack of child care assistance serves as a far larger impediment to employment for many low-income families than do the size and structure of TANF work participation rates. If TANF reauthorization legislation does not provide sufficient child care resources, nearly 225,000 children could lose child care assistance by 2006, and more than 360,000 children could lose assistance by 2008."]

[Request #S8668]

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How Children Are Doing: The Mismatch Between Public Perception and Statistical Reality. By Lina Guzman and others. (Child Trends, Washington, DC) July 2003. 8 p.

Full Text at:

["These findings show that the public is generally misinformed about the well-being of children in the United States. Specifically, the public regularly overestimates social and economic problems among American children, and is generally unaware of progress made during the last decade on several key indicators of well-being. The poll asked participants about their perceptions of indicators and trends in child well-being, including the number of children receiving welfare, the percent of children without health insurance; the percent of children in poverty, teen crime rates, teen birth rates, and the percent of children living in single-parent households." Child Trends e-Newsletter (July 22, 2003).]

[Request #S8669]

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Low-Income Fathers and Child Support: Starting Off on the Right Track. By Paul Legler, Policy Studies Inc. Prepared For the Annie E. Casey Foundation. (Policy Studies Inc., Denver, Colorado) 2003. 60 p.

Full Text at:

["This report examines the treatment of low-income fathers in the child support system in the U.S. and how the system could be improved. The report suggests that the time of establishment of the child support order and shortly thereafter is the key time for the child support agency to establish a more positive relationship with low-income fathers.The report includes recommendations for child support programs, state legislative action, and federal action. The analysis concludes that three changes to the child support system are of particular importance: 1) reducing the proportion of orders entered by default; 2) setting realistic child support orders at the outset; and 3) making adjustments to orders to reflect changes in circumstances."]

[Request #S8671]

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Sharp Reduction in Black Child Poverty Due to Welfare Reform. By Melissa G. Pardue, The Heritage Foundation. (The Foundation, Washington, DC) June 12, 2003. 9 p.

Full Text at:

["Black children are perhaps the ones most enjoying the success of welfare reform, with 1.2 million black children released from the grip of poverty since 1996...The number of children--particularly black children--in poverty can be reduced further only by building on the success of the past six years, not by backpedaling to a culture of idleness and one-way handouts...Policies that consistently ignore the current low levels of work among America's poorest families will not succeed in further reducing or eliminating poverty."]

[Request #S8672]

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Poor Families in 2001: Parents Working Less and Children Continue to Lag Behind. By Richard Wertheimer. (Child Trends, Washington DC) May 2003. 10 p.

Full Text at:

["This Research Brief presents a statistical snapshot of working poor families with children in 2001 and analyzes national survey data - first, to take a broad look at working poor families, and, second, to focus in on some of the characteristics of children in these families. The findings presented in this brief suggest that some of the successes of welfare reform may be put at risk by a weaker economy...They further suggest that, regardless of the strength of the economy and regardless of parents’ work efforts, children in poor families may need extra help if they truly are to thrive."]

[Request #S8673]

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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.]



Sins of the Fathers: A Look at the Relationship between Child Abuse and Delinquency. By Dane E. Petersen, American Probation and Parole Association. (The Association, Lexington, Kentucky) 2003. 230 p.

["This book provides insight for a general audience into some of the experiences of sexually, physically and emotionally abused children, focusing on children who are later determined delinquent by the courts. Most of the chapters define the characteristics of specific types of abuse victims. The author, a juvenile justice practitioner, includes anonymous accounts of abuse experienced by his clients, demonstrating links between child abuse and future delinquency."]

[Request #S8670]

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Comprehensive Assessments for Children Entering Foster Care: A National Perspective. By Laurel K. Leslie and others. IN: Pediatrics, vol. 112, no. 1 (July 2003) pp. 134-142.

["Children in foster care are a particularly vulnerable population, often with serious and complex physical and mental health issues. This study finds that despite national assessment guidelines, many counties do not have comprehensive policies or routine practices that address all children entering out-of-home care, so primary care providers should be educated about their specific problems because they may be the only practitioners evaluating the children." Connect for Kids (July 7, 2003).]

[Request #S8674]

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