Tag Archive | Children

Child Care and Development Block Grant Act of 2014

cute little girl continuing to paint

The US House of Representatives and the Senate are set to take action now to ensure high-quality child care for children.

Late last week, they reached an agreement on a bill to reauthorize the Child Care and Development Block Grant Act (CCDBG), which was last authorized eighteen years ago.

children walking to school

The reauthorized Child Care and Development Block Grant Act would take numerous steps to improve access to high-quality care for young children and their families, including:

  • Improving the health and safety of children in Child Care and Development Block Grant Act -funded child care settings.
  • Making it easier for families to access and keep quality child care, especially low-income and homeless families.
  • Taking steps to prevent suspensions and expulsions of young children in child care.
  • Enhancing the overall quality of child care, with an additional focus on improving the quality of care for infants and toddlers. Take action today to ensure your members of Congress vote yes on the Child Care and Development Block Grant Act — crucial legislation for young children and their families.
  • High-quality child care provides a developmentally-appropriate environment for children while their parents work to support their families. It is a critical part of the continuum of high-quality early childhood development and learning services that all children and families need to thrive.
  • Please call your members of Congress and ask them to support the Child Care and Development Block Grant Act of 2014.
  • Source(s): Childrens Defense Fund and  Zero to Three

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Tell Your Senators To Increase Humanitarian Aid

african children

Mercy Corp remind us  in their  recent action alert that more than 50 million people across the world have fled their homes — the greatest number of global refugees since World War II.

Massive crises such as those in Syria, the Central African Republic and South Sudan are exhausting the capacity of humanitarian actors to respond. In such desperate times, it’s essential that Congress increase funding for humanitarian aid — millions of lives depend on it. 

As the conflicts continue to rage in these regions, millions more face illness, starvation and death. Their only hope is that compassionate citizens around the world will find in their heart to come to their rescue. 

Tell your Senators to increase humanitarian aid. South Sudan, over half of the people do not have enough to eat. At the same time, cholera and other water-borne diseases threaten to spread faster than aid agencies can respond.

Armed conflict and heavy rains have grounded flights and made many roads impassable for months, severely limiting the ability of humanitarian organizations to transport lifesaving supplies.

The South Sudanese people want nothing more than to restart their lives. Mothers and fathers want their children to go to school. Families want to plant seeds and crops, to earn a living. They need a respite from violence, from the struggle to survive… they need a future.

Around the world, millions of innocent civilians are trapped in complex crises like this one, forced by violence to leave their homes and face danger, uncertainty and even death.

Action is needed now — tell the Senate that there is no time to wait .

Thank you for making your voice heard on behalf of children and their families in the world’s toughest places.

Source: Mercy Corp Action Alert

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Food For Peace Reform Act of 2014


african children

The Food for Peace Reform Act of 2014 (S.2421) was introduce on June 3, 2014 by Bob Corker, Junior Senator from Tennessee. This Act establishes the Food for Peace program in the U.S. Agency for International Development (USAID) under the Foreign Assistance Act of 1961. (Repeals authority for the current program under title II of the Food for Peace Act, including certain U.S. commodity purchase, U.S. cargo, and monetization requirements.)

The Act authorizes: USAID to provide emergency and nonemergency foreign assistance, including through the provision of U.S. commodities or local or regional procurement; nonemergency assistance to combat malnutrition and hunger, mitigate food crises, and promote resilient food security. It sets forth minimum funding levels for nonemergency assistance.
It also establishes the Food Aid Consultative Group, which shall: 1) test options for improved product packaging and storage; reform commodity acquisition and supply chain management; 2) increase private sector development in food aid products, packaging, and delivery; provide guidance on how best to use food aid commodities, including guidance on ensuring that the products reach their intended recipients; and 3) strengthen commodity quality monitoring. Further, it requires USAID to: 1)
assess the types and quality of agricultural commodities and products donated for food aid; 2) adjust products to cost-effectively meet nutrient needs of target populations; 3) test prototypes; adopt new, or improve existing, specifications for micronutrient fortified food aid products; 4) develop program guidance for matching products to nutrient purposes; and 5) evaluate performance and cost-effectiveness of food products and programs for vulnerable groups, such as pregnant mothers and young children.
Indian Girl
The Act also : 1) authorizes ocean transportation of agricultural commodities to be procured through full and open competitive procedures; 2) requires USAID to avoid displacing sales of U.S. agricultural commodities; 3) prohibits Program assistance from being made available unless USAID determines that the provision of the agricultural commodity in the recipient country would not: (a) result in substantial interference with the domestic production or marketing of agricultural commodities in the country, or (b) have a disruptive impact on the agricultural producers or the local economy of the country.
Further, the Act expresses the sense of Congress that the U.S. Merchant Marine: (1) is a critical component of the nation’s military and economic security; and (2) consists of a fleet of private, U.S.-registered merchant ships that provides domestic and international transportation for passengers and cargo.
Source(s): Congressional Research Service. http://www.govtrack.us
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National Grandparents Day 2014

women of color

Appreciate and Celebrate Grandparents on National Grandparents Day

For more than thirty-five years, we have formally celebrated the role of grandparents in the lives of their grandchildren as a nation.

In 1978, the United States Congress passed legislation proclaiming the first Sunday after Labor Day as National Grandparents Day. President Jimmy Carter signed the proclamation. This year, National Grandparents Day will fall on Sunday, September 7th. Now more than ever before, we should celebrate grandparents and the expanding role they are playing in the lives of their grandchildren.

smiling elderly woman

National Grandparent’s Day was founded to champion the cause of lonely elderly persons residing in nursing homes and to persuade their grandchildren to tap into the wisdom and heritage their grandparents could provide. It has grown to be a special day for all to celebrate the roles grandparents play in the family unit. Don’t forget to honor your grandparents on National Grandparents Day, Sunday, September 7th.

On Sunday, September 7th, remember to appreciate and celebrate your grandparents on National Grandparents Day.

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Sean and David Goldman International Child Abduction Prevention and Return Act

On August 8th, 2014, President Barack Obama signed the Sean and David Goldman International Child Abduction Prevention and Return Act into law.

The afore-referenced Act ensures compliance with the 1980 Hague Convention on the Civil Aspects of International Child Abduction by countries with which the United States enjoys reciprocal obligations, to establish procedures for the prompt return of children abducted to other countries, and for other purposes.

The summary below was written by the Congressional Research Service, which is a nonpartisan division of the Library of Congress.
Section 2
Expresses the sense of Congress that the United States should set a strong example for 1980 Hague Convention on the Civil Aspects of International Child Abduction (Convention) countries in the timely location and return of abducted children in the United States whose habitual residence is not the United States.

Section 3 –
Defines specified terms for purposes of this Act.

Title I – Department of State Actions
Section 101 –
Directs the Secretary of State to submit to Congress an Annual Report on International Child Abduction.

Section 102 –
Directs the Secretary to ensure that U.S. diplomatic and consular missions: (1) maintain a consistent reporting standard with respect to abduction or access cases, (2) designate at least one official in each mission to assist U.S. parents who are visiting to resolve such cases, and
(3) monitor cases involving abducted children in their country of location.

Section 103 –
Directs the Secretary to seek to enter into a memorandum of understanding (an agreement between the United States and a country that is not a Convention country to resolve abduction and rights of access cases) with every country that is not a Convention country.

Section 104 –
Directs the Secretary of State to notify the Member of Congress and Senators representing the legal residence of a left-behind parent when that parent reports an abduction to the Central Authority of the United States unless the left-behind parent does not consent to such notification.

Title II – Presidential Actions
Section 201 –
States that it shall be U.S. policy to: (1) promote the best interest of children abducted from the United States by establishing legal rights and procedures for their prompt return, and (2) recognize the international character of the Convention.

Directs the President, upon a determination that the government of a foreign country has failed to resolve an abduction or access case or has engaged in a pattern of noncooperation, to take one or more specified actions to promote resolution or cooperation.

Section 202 –
States that it shall be U.S. policy to: (1) oppose systemic foreign government failures to fulfill obligations pursuant to the Convention or a memorandum of understanding (MOU) between the United States and a non-Convention country to resolve abduction and access cases, and (2) promote reciprocity pursuant to and compliance with the Convention or the applicable MOUs.

Directs the President, upon a determination that the government of a foreign country has engaged in a pattern of noncooperation, to take one or more specified actions to promote resolution or cooperation.

Directs the President to:
(1) review annually the status of abduction cases and access cases in each foreign country to determine whether the country’s government has engaged in a pattern of noncooperation during the preceding 12 months or since the last review,

(2) designate each country whose government has engaged in a pattern of noncooperation as a Country With a Pattern of Noncooperation (Country),

(3) target the responsible agencies or instrumentalities, and

(4) notify Congress of such designations.

Section 203 –
Directs the President to request consultation with the government of a country regarding its designation as a Country.

Section 204 –
Directs the President to report to Congress regarding the violations and the actions to be taken with respect to a Country.

Section 205 –
Sets forth presidential actions and waiver authority under this Act.

Section 207 –
Directs the President to ensure publication in the Federal Register of: (1) Country designations, (2) presidential actions, (3) delays in report transmittal, and (4) waivers.

Section 208 –
Terminates any action taken under this Act with respect to a foreign country on the earlier of the following two dates: (1) not later than two years after the effective date of such action unless expressly reauthorized by law, or (2) the date on which the President certifies to Congress that such country has resolved any unresolved abduction case or has taken substantial and verifiable steps to correct the pattern of noncooperation at issue.

Source(s): http://www.govtrack.us

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Does substance abuse lead to domestic violence?

Scared Child

Every 9 seconds in the US a woman is assaulted or beaten. Around the world, at least one in every three women has been beaten, coerced into sex or otherwise abused during her lifetime. Most often, the abuser is a member of her own family.

Domestic violence is the leading cause of injury to women—more than car accidents, muggings, and rapes combined. Studies suggest that up to 10 million children witness some form of domestic violence annually.

Nearly 1 in 5 teenage girls who have been in a relationship said a boyfriend threatened violence or self-harm if presented with a breakup. Everyday in the US, more than three women are murdered by their husbands or boyfriends. Ninety-two percent of women surveyed listed reducing domestic violence and sexual assault as their top concern.

Abusers often suggest that they beat their wives because their wives drink. But several studies have shown that many battered women start drinking subsequent to the battering. So, it may be defensive behavior on the part of women, trying to cope with an intolerable situation.” – Linda Salzman, PhD, Criminologist at the Centers for Disease Control.

• 33% of battered women suffer depression.
•26% of all women who attempt suicide are victims of
domestic violence.
•10% of all battered women abuse drugs or alcohol.
•50% of all alcoholic or addicted women are victims of
domestic violence.
•A survey of 2,099 women found that women who had experienced abuse reported more frequent use of sleeping pills and sedatives than women who had not been abused.
◦40% more battered women reported sleeping pill use.
◦74% more battered women reported sedative use.
◦50% more women physically abused as children reported sleeping pill use and all reported sedative use.
•Substance abuse adds more problems for the victim because:
◦There is less resistance from the victim
◦It gives more power to the abuser
◦The victim feels like they ‘deserve’ the abuse
◦There is less support from the victim’s family
◦The victim tends to ignore the home, bills, children, etc.


•Ten studies reporting chronic alcohol use, alcoholism, or alcohol abuse reported that between 24% and 86% of battering incidents involved alcohol abuse. When batterers reported, the result was a combined average of 36% of battering incidents involving alcohol; when victims reported, the combined average was 67%.

•A study of 400 battered women found that 67% of batterers frequently abused alcohol; however, only one-fifth had abused alcohol during all four battering incidents on which data were collected.

•In one batterers intervention program, 90% of the men had abused alcohol at the time of the latest battering incident. The vast majority of participants also reported battering their partners when not under the influence of alcohol.

Battering is a socially learned behavior, and is not the result of substance abuse or mental illness. With regard to domestic violence, substance abuse may be viewed as:

• An excuse. In many societies, including ours, substance use has a role as a time out from responsibility during which the user can engage in exceptional behavior and later disavow the behavior as caused by the substance rather than the self (MacAndrew & Edgerton, 1969). Some observers suggest batterers use substances first as a vehicle, then as an excuse, for being controlling and violent.

•A cognitive disrupter. Drugs or alcohol may reduce the user’s ability to perceive, integrate, and process information, increasing his risk for violence (Pernanen, 1991). Batterers may be more likely than non-batterers to misinterpret the actions of their partners in this manner, and substances enhance the misinterpretation.

• A power motive. Substance abuse and woman abuse may share common origins in a need to achieve personal power and control (Gondolf, 1995).

•Situational. Violence may occur during the process of obtaining and using substances. The situational relationship between substance abuse and woman abuse is particularly relevant when illegal drugs are involved. A battered woman may use substances with her abuser in an attempt to manage his violence and increase her own safety (Center for Substance Abuse Treatment, 1997), or she may be forced to use substances with her batterer.

•A chemical agent. Substance abuse may increase the risk for woman abuse through chemical actions on brain mechanisms linked to aggression (Miczek, et al., 1994). However, there is no evidence that batterers are neither “hard wired” for violence, nor that their socialization or choice-making processes are not operational when using substances.

•Partial to certain characteristics. Substance abuse may increase the risk for woman abuse only for those men with certain
characteristics. In Kenneth Leonard’s national study of 23-year-old men, heavy drinking was associated with woman abuse only for those men with a high levels of hostility and low levels of marital satisfaction (Leonard & Blane, 1992).


•Effective across generations. Substance abuse and woman abuse are learned through observation and practice, and are related over time. Parental substance abuse and parental woman abuse may impact the development of children, increasing the chances of a child growing up to be an abuser, a victim of abuse, and/or a substance abuser (Kantor & Asdigian, 1993).[1]

Similarities between substance abuse and domestic violence:
•Affects entire families
•Negatively impacts a pregnancy
•Strong denial tendencies
•Blames others
•Thrives on isolation, shame, and silence
•Social stigma
•Pervasive social and health problems cut across all demographic categories
•Potentially life-threatening
•Often intergenerational
•Tend to become progressively worse
•Often lead to other kinds of problems (e.g. health, legal and financial)

Source(s): Center for Disease Control and Prevention. Linda Salzman, PhD, Criminologist at the Centers for Disease Control. Kantor & Asdigian, 1993. Leonard & Blane, 1992. Miczek, et al., 1994. Center for Substance Abuse Treatment, 1997. Gondolf, 1995. Pernanen, 1991. MacAndrew & Edgerton, 1969. Larry W. Bennett, Ph.D. “Substance Abuse and Woman Abuse by Male Partners.” University of Chicago, Jane Addams College of Social Work. September 1997.

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[1] Larry W. Bennett, Ph.D. “Substance Abuse and Woman Abuse by Male Partners.” University of Chicago, Jane Addams College of Social Work. September 1997.

Child Witnesses

Scared Girl

Every 9 seconds in the United States a woman is assaulted or beaten. Domestic violence is the leading cause of injury to women—more than car accidents, muggings, and rapes combined. Studies suggest that up to 10 million children witness some form of domestic violence annually. It has been reported that men who as children witnessed their parents’ domestic violence were twice as likely to abuse their own wives than sons of nonviolent parents. Child witnesses to domestic violence often have life-long effects. Please read the data below regarding child witnesses to domestic violence.

•Between 3.3 million and 25 million children experience domestic violence in their homes each year.

 •The average age of a homeless person in the U.S. is 9 years old. 50 percent of homeless women and children are fleeing abuse in the home.
•Children who live in homes where their mothers are battered are 50% more likely to be beaten themselves. Research indicates that 50 to 70 percent of men who physically abuse their wives also frequently abuse their children.

 •In one study, 27% of domestic homicide victims were children. When children are killed during a domestic dispute, 90% are under age 10; 56% are under age 2. Children from homes where their mothers is beaten suffer eating and sleeping disorders, have headaches, ulcers, rashes, depression, and anxiety caused by the trauma of witnessing abuse.

praying little boy

 •They have a higher risk of abusing substances and becoming juvenile delinquents.

 •Eighty percent of teen runaways and homeless youth come from violent homes.

 •Girls from homes with domestic violence are 6.5 times more likely to be sexually assaulted and more likely to become pregnant as teenagers.

 •A boy from a home where his mother is battered is 74% more likely to commit violence, including rape.

 •Boys who grow up in non-violent homes have one chance in 400 of becoming abusive adults, but boys who grow up in violent homes have one chance in two of becoming abusive adults.

 •Sixty-three percent of boys ages 11-20 arrested for homicide have killed their mother’s abuser.

Child Post

How are children affected by domestic violence?
•They exhibit “failure to thrive” symptoms, even as infants.
•They may exhibit “general aggressiveness” or violence to siblings or the
“victim parent” in ways that emulate the abusive parent.
•They may exhibit a pattern of “over-compliance” and fearfulness.
•They often suffer from low self-esteem.
•They often suffer poor health.
•They may have poor impulse control.
•They often experience academic problems.
•They live frequently ”disrupted lives” when the victim is forced to flee the home.
•They, along with their mothers, comprise nearly 40% of the homeless population in the U.S.
•They are sometimes injured during violent incidents in the home or the family
•They are more often abducted by the abuser parent than other children.
•They may have a fear and distrust of close relationships.
•They may become conflicted in taking sides with parents.
•They experience confusion over correct behavior.
•They experience psychosomatic complaints, i.e., stomachaches, headaches, stuttering, anxiety, fear, etc.
•They experience “night terrors” (waking up screaming in the night).
•They may wet the bed.
•They kill themselves more often than children who do not live with abuse.
•They are likely to repeat learned behaviors.

depressed teen girl
•They blame themselves for the violence or the inability to stop it and protect the victim parent.
•They often experience PTSD (post-traumatic stress disorder).
•They are more likely to be victim of child physical and sexual abuse, most often by the abuser parent and less often by the victim.
•They are four times as likely to be arrested eventually.
•They are more likely to abuse alcohol and drugs.
•They are more likely to engage in antisocial behavior.
•They are more likely to commit crime against other persons and sexual assaults.

Sources: http://www.pcadv.org. http://www.stopvaw.org. http://www.aaets.org. http://www.unicef.org. http://www.childwelfare.gov.

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