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July 23, 2014 / Ciara Myers, Editor

Local foster care agencies struggle to manage caseloads as unaccompanied refugee children continue across border

The recent surge of children from Central America into the U.S., particularly in the Greater Washington region, has been a heated topic as of late. Many children cross the border in hopes of being reunited with family, but some have no one to reconnect with once they arrive. In the region, the foster care system is struggling to keep up with the pace. (WAMU, 7/23)


As federal, state and local authorities deal with the influx of nearly 60,000 Central American children — and counting — who have crossed the border alone, one legal priority is to reunite the children with relatives in this country while their deportation cases proceed. But what happens to the unaccompanied immigrant children who have no relatives here?

Lutheran Social Services of the Washington region has tripled its caseload of unaccompanied refugee children in the past year. The agency says it gets calls every day from federal authorities seeking foster homes for what could eventually be as many as 3,000 Central American children lost, lonely and with nowhere to go.


– Report: D.C. youth more likely to attend preschool, have health insurance (WaPo, 7/23)

– In an effort to fight hunger in youth during out-of-school time, Mayor Gray announced that the District’s Free Summer Meals Program will expand to include Saturdays for the second year in a row. Youth up to age 18 will be able to get free meals at libraries and recreation centers across the city. (One City Youth, 7/22)

– The District saw a sudden increase in the number of infant deaths between July 13-22.  D.C.’s rate of infant mortality is already higher than the national average, but officials worry that the most recent surge could be caused by the dangers of babies sleeping in bed with parents instead of in cribs. (WTOP, 7/23)

HOMELESSNESS │ Recently, the U.S. Interagency Council on Homelessness and the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development hosted a webinar titled, “Core Principles of Housing First and Rapid Re-Housing,” about the core components of the Housing First approach and the Rapid Re-Housing model to help end homelessness. (USICH, 7/23)

WORKFORCE │ President Barack Obama signed the Workforce Innovation and Opportunity Act into law, aimed at improving federal training programs to make them more “job-driven.” (White House, 7/23)

TRANSIT │ Thousands of Fairfax County commuters will experience longer and more expensive travel as a result of the Silver Line’s upcoming opening. (WAMU, 7/22)

Murals in D.C. are making a big comeback.

 – Ciara

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