Wednesday, November 24, 2010

Patt Morrison for Thursday, November 25, 2010 - Thanksgiving Day - SHOW ON TAPE



Thursday, November 25, 2010

1-3 p.m.





1:00 – 2:00

Fostering the most vital safety net:  the problems, and potential fixes, of L.A.’s foster care system

Too many children too easily fall through the cracks of society—unwanted or uncared for by parents who are either unwilling or unable to parent, foster kids are among the most vulnerable members of society and arguably most in need of a solid social safety net.  The safety net has some gaping holes in it, and while controversial deaths of children in L.A. County’s foster care system get publicity, thousands more who find themselves without shelter, an education or job prospects are left to their own devices when they turn 18.  Los Angeles, with the highest number of kids in foster care in the country, had 22,291 children in the foster care system in 2008, which actually shows years of progress reducing the numbers.  Even as the raw numbers of kids in the system comes down, these youths find themselves facing long odds at success: less than 4% of children in the foster care system nationwide graduate from a 4-year college.  This is the first part of a series of segments where Patt talks to children in and out of the foster system and the policy makers who are feverishly working to fix a broken safety net. 




Andrew Bridge, director of Child Welfare Initiative in Los Angeles, former foster youth (age 7 – 18), author of Hopes Boy (memoir about his experience in foster care), former Executive Director of the Alliance for Children’s Rights, former Fulbright Scholar, and graduate of Harvard Law School.


David Ambroz, Executive Director of the Los Angeles City College Foundation, member of the California Child Welfare Council and a former foster youth.


Leslie Heimov (HIGH- mauve), Executive Director, Children’s Law Center, Certified Child Welfare Law Specialist, appointed to Child Welfare Counsel.


Trayvon Walker, foster reform advocate and former foster youth


Janis Spire, Chief Executive Officer, The Alliance for Children’s Rights


Laura Faer, Directing Attorney, Children’s Rights Project, Public Counsel


Daniel Heimpel (HIME-pull), Director, Fostering Media Connections and freelance journalist. He has covered foster care for the LA Weekly, San Francisco Chronicle and Newsweek.


George White, foster youth


Lola Bell, Zaneta Bell, Shimia Gray, Clarence Wade, Avery Bankston, former foster youths



2:00 – 3:00


Teachers matter. A lot. Studies show that students with the best teachers learn three times as much as students with the worst teachers. Researchers say the achievement gap between poor children and their higher-income peers could disappear if poor kids got better teachers.  Politicians and education reformers are calling for big changes in how teachers are trained and evaluated – and in the way teachers are hired and fired too.






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