NAHF Reports Featured in Washington Post Article
John DiIulio, University of Pennsylvania professor and noted author on social science, political, and economic issues writes, ”there is one politically salient issue concerning the nation’s large and growing Latino population that neither party’s leadership has fully acknowledged: Latino grassroots groups, neighborhood associations, and faith-based networks do remarkable and remarkably well-documented work, but these organizations may still be getting short shrift when it comes to federal funding and other support.”
DiIulio cites two of the National Alliance for Hispanic Families’ reports, La Diferencia: Grassroots Organizations Uniquely Serving Hispanic Communities through Culturally Relevant, Family Focused Programs and Beyond the Rhetoric: Improving Service to the Hispanic Community.
Read the entirety of the Washington Post article here.
Immigrant Families as They Really Are
Despite the importance of immigration for the well-being of our nation, the average American has a very limited and predominantly negative view of immigrants. Too often popular media and political discourse promote and support a toxic caricature of immigrant families. At odds with this myopic characterization of immigrant family life, family researchers and practitioners frequently remind us of the richness and complexity of immigrant families. This conference brings together national immigrant family researchers and local immigration practitioners to discuss some of the intricacies of immigrant families and the challenges they face as they carve their way into American society. The conference includes panel discussions on youth well-being and international adoption, parenting and intimate relationships, fertility, sexuality, and partner selection, dynamics of transnational families, and the cultural adaptation and implementation of evidence-based interventions to assist immigrant families in need. Come join us at the University of Miami, enjoy the warmth and beauty of South Florida, and make use of this wonderful opportunity to learn about Immigrant Families as They Really Are.
Keynote Speaker: Carola Suarez-Orozco
Professor of Human Development and Psychology
Co-Director, Institute for Immigrant Children and Youth, UCLA
Registration is now open. Click here to register.
Addressing the link between Teen Pregnancy and High School Dropouts
The National Campaign to Prevent Teen and Unplanned Pregnancy in collaboration with America’s Promise Alliance introduce a new report, Teen Pregnancy and High School Dropout: What Communities Can Do to Address These Issues, to help make the connection between teen pregnancy and school completion. One in four U.S. public school students drop out of high school before graduation and nearly one-third of teen girls who have dropped out of high school cite early pregnancy or parenthood as a key reason, and the rate is higher for minority students at 36 percent of Hispanic girls. The high school dropout rate in this country continues to be a crisis; nearly one in four Americans overall and four in 10 minorities do not complete high school with their class.
Notwithstanding the association between teen pregnancy and dropping out of high school, little research exists on the relationship between these two issues in school districts across the country. The primary focus of the report is to highlight innovative ways school systems—particularly persistently low-achieving school districts with high teen birth rates—and public agencies and community-based organizations that oversee teen pregnancy prevention programs are working together with the common goal of helping students avoid too-early pregnancy and parenthood and complete their high school education. The report also provides examples of strategies for connecting efforts to prevent teen pregnancy and improve educational attainment that education, health, and community leaders around the country might find helpful as they work to reduce teen pregnancy and improve graduation rates. Although there has been progress in reducing teen pregnancy and improving graduation rates, there is more work that needs to be done.
There are some exciting and innovative approaches that are currently in place that illustrate how the education and health sectors in communities with high teen birth and dropout rates are working together to improve graduation rates by addressing teen pregnancy prevention A number of strategies are identified that can be replicated elsewhere as individual schools, school districts and education agencies, health departments, and community organizations look for ways to address the link between teen pregnancy and educational achievement. Examples include: surveying parents about what they want for their children; educating community leaders and parents; providing access to professional development programs for school staff and teachers; reaching out to school administrators; and building relationships with new champions.
To access the full report click here.
Beyond the Rhetoric: Improving Service to the Hispanic Community
As you know, the Latino vote was a major contributor to the re-election of President Obama last month and has brought much attention to this, the fastest growing minority in the country. Hispanics now comprise 21 percent of the population under 25, but they also have the highest poverty rate. According to the Pew Hispanic Center, more Latino children are living in poverty — 6.1 million in 2010 — than children of any other racial or ethnic group. Unfortunately, due to a variety of factors and barriers, federal resources often do not reach Latino children and families living in disenfranchised poor communities.
At a time when federal budgets are tight, it is important to use innovative strategies to reach this segment of our society. Attached is an overview of the work the National Alliance For Hispanic Families (NAHF) has been involved in over the past year with the Administration For Children and Families. To characterize this work as a success would be misleading, as you will read. But the eight practical, budget-neutral recommendations are solid and can be applied to any federal agency to quickly improve and expand service to the Hispanic population.
NAHF is dedicated to improving the lives of Hispanic families throughout the country, and we would welcome an opportunity to talk with you about the recommendations outlined in this report.Download report
To Understand the Latino Vote, Understand the Latino Family
Written by authors and NAHF Members Lorena Garza Gonzalez and Lisa Trevino Cummins, “INHERITANCE: Discovering the Richness of Latino Culture and Family” has been among Amazon’s top 10 hot new releases for books in the Hispanic category. Endorsed by some of our country’s most respected leaders including the Honorable Henry G. Cisneros and Secretary of State Hope Andrade, the authors share and reflect from their rich experiences that include time among immigrant families to work in the White House to recount stories of undaunted courage, faith, and valor.
“I know that the stories I’ve written are not mine alone, but are the stories shared by so many in our Latino community. I hope that this book will provide families an opportunity to reflect on their blessings and celebrate the inheritance from their own families,” shares Dr. Lorena G. Gonzalez.
“As our community strives and achieves success through education and business, it is important to be reminded of the rich values and lessons for which many in our families paid a significant price. They are the true heroes and heroines that I don’t want my children and their generation to miss,” notes Lisa Trevino Cummins.
About the Authors:
As the Director of National Hispanic Initiatives for Urban Strategies, Dr. Lorena G. Gonzalez combines practical and theoretical experiences to provide training and technical assistance that teaches practitioners, educators, policymakers, and community leaders how to build successful programs driving positive change.
Lorena received her Ph.D.in Leadership Studies from Our Lady of the Lake University in San Antonio, TX, and her M.A. in Bicultural Bilingual Studies from the University of Texas at San Antonio. She completed post-doctoral work at Harvard University’s Government, Executive Education Program. Lorena and her husband, Rene, live in San Antonio, TX.
Lisa Treviño Cummins is President of Urban Strategies, a Washington, D.C. based organization that is focused on supporting the work of Hispanic and faith-based organizations serving vulnerable families throughout the country.
Lisa is a graduate of Trinity University and the University of Texas in San Antonio. She currently serves on the boards of World Vision, the Christian Community Development Association, and the Seed Company. Lisa, her husband, and their three children reside in the Washington, DC area.
For more information, please visit the website: Inheritance: Discovering the Richness of Latino Culture & Family
To buy the book: Click Here
Federal Agency Falls Short in Providing Evidence of Its Record in Serving Latino Families
Washington D.C. (Oct. 22, 2012) — At the conclusion of National Hispanic Heritage Month, members of the National Alliance For Hispanic Families are calling on leaders of the Administration for Children and Families (ACF) to quantify the work the agency has undertaken in the last year to better serve Latinos. In spite of its good-faith attempt, the agency’s focus on evidence-based efforts seems to have fallen short of providing the necessary details to support a theme of strong progress toward serving the needs of Latino families and children.
“Celebrating heritage is important, but the growing size and unattended needs of the Hispanic community can no longer be relegated to four weeks out of the year that generate photos ops and sound bites,” said Luis Torres, Professor at the University of Houston Graduate College of Social Work. “We are not doubting the sincere intent of the Agency’s leadership, but it has, nonetheless, fallen short of demonstrating any real indication of success or clear effort toward serving Latino needs.”
Exactly a year ago, NAHF leaders provided ACF with budget-neutral recommendations that would have a tangible impact on the Agency’s service to Latino children and families. While highlighting a few anecdotal examples, the Agency has not provided quantifiable information to measure progress across numerous key indicators, including those that ensure a fair and focused allocation of resources to meet the core needs of underserved communities. These indicators include:
- Lack of baseline data from which to measure progress and ensure that organizations that have a history of serving Latino populations have applied and been awarded any of ACF’s $16 Billion in grants.
- No method for capturing the percentage of reviewers or review panels for all of ACF grant programs that were Hispanic during grant reviews in the 2011-2012 cycle, much less for any baseline period.
- No method for capturing increases in, if any, the number and dollars of investments for research specific to Hispanic populations. Again, no information on baseline period or relative comparison data.
- No quantifiable data on how the Hispanic Healthy Marriage and Responsible Fatherhood Initiative is being strengthened, how many dollars are allocated to serve the initiative, how many dollars have been awarded to organizations who have evidence of successfully serving Hispanic populations, or what the baseline is to conclude the program has been “strengthened.”
- There is no clarity about the meaningful changes and improvements in ACF’s policies and investment in Hispanic families that have been generated as a result of the Administration’s commitment to the Latino community.
- No information on how many jobs have been filled in the agency and what percentage of those has been filled with Hispanics. No ability to compare this rate to previous periods.
- No data that reflects the improvements ACF has made to identify and alleviate the impact of restrictive immigration laws on public benefit programs and social services.
“If an agency touts itself as being evidence-based yet repeatedly fails to report out measures of success on data that should be basic, it begs the question – what information, if any, is actually being collected, measured, and tracked to demonstrate a concerted effort to meet the growing needs of Latino children and families, a community already proven to be grossly underserved,” Torres said. “While it is understood that data doesn’t always tell the complete story, a narrative without metrics and quantifiable measurements is insufficient, especially in a time of growing need amidst economic pressures.”
Download a copy of the recommendations NAHF forwarded to Acting Assistant Secretary George Sheldon last year (October 2011) HERE.
New Report Outlines Need for Effective Hispanic-Serving Programs
Washington D.C. (Oct. 4, 2012) — The National Alliance for Hispanic Families today released a new report, La Diferencia: Grassroots Organizations Uniquely Serving Hispanic Communities Through Culturally Relevant, Family-Focused Programs, detailing the urgent need for sustainable programs that solve critical problems within the Hispanic community. The report provides an overview of successful Hispanic-focused organizations built upon four key elements that transform the lives of thousands of Hispanic individuals and families.
“This report takes a serious and close look at the basic makeup of successful organizations currently serving this vital community,” said Jose Villalobos, Sr. Vice President of TELACU. “The foundational elements among these diverse programs are the same, and must be tested in other communities with other Hispanic groups to show they work best.”
The report outlines the unique characteristics that allow organizations to effectively engage individuals that other groups often are unable to reach. Also highlighted are personal success stories and detailed program overviews for eight successful organizations around the country: Soledad Enrichment Action (Los Angeles, CA), Instituto del Progreso Latino (Chicago, IL), Comunilife Life Is Precious (Bronx/Brooklyn, NY), enFAMILIA, (Homestead, FL), Creciendo Unidos (Phoenix, AZ), Con Mi MADRE (Austin, TX), Family Bridges and FuturoNow (Chicago, IL/Los Angeles, CA).
Unfortunately there are many challenges that impede the progress of Hispanic-serving organizations, the report says. These include apathy and indifference in non-immigration related issues, unbalanced focus on intervention rather than prevention, insufficient number of Hispanics in positions of influence, and restrictive emphasis on evidence-based models.
La Diferencia makes recommendations for building and sustaining responsive programs, and calls on policymakers to fund the evaluation and replication of those programs at levels commensurate with the Hispanic population growth.
For a copy of the complete report, click here.
National Alliance For Hispanic Families Releases Hispanic Data Source
Washington, DC (September 26, 2012) — The National Alliance For Hispanic Families today released Hispanic Data Source – a concise look at key data critical to understanding issues facing the nation’s growing Hispanic population.
“The state of our country’s future is very much intertwined with how we strengthen our Hispanic community today,” said Dr. Luis Zayas, Dean of the University of Texas at Austin School of Social Work. ”Latinos are the fastest growing segment of the U.S. population, and yet 28 percent live below the poverty line. Further, Hispanic youth have the highest school dropout and teen pregnancy rates. Now is the time for our federal government, policy makers, and investors to realign priorities to meet the specific needs and challenges of this growing population.”
Hispanic Data Source provides information on the explosive growth of the Latino population, and the states and cities in which they live. Poverty is detailed among immigrants and those born in the U.S., and data is provided for the growing numbers of Hispanics in the child welfare system, along with statistics for school dropout, teen pregnancy, gang activity, and maternal healthcare.
“The dire numbers found in this publication speak to the importance of investing in youth,” said Sylvia Zaldivar, Executive Director of the Lake County Community Foundation. “High proportions of Hispanic youth are disconnected—from school, work, family, and their communities—and this disconnection can lead to teenage pregnancies, involvement in the child welfare system, high dropout rates, increased rates of gang activity, and a higher likelihood of involvement with the criminal justice system.“
Leaders of the National Alliance for Hispanic Families call on decision makers to carefully align the flow of federal and private resources with the changing demographic landscape detailed in Hispanic Data Source.
Click Hispanic Data Source to download.
Honoring Heritage and Lt. Col. Consuelo Kickbusch
The Congressional Hispanic Caucus Institute (CHCI) announced that Lt. Col. Consuelo Castillo Kickbusch (ret.) will be awarded one of its highest honors—the Medallion of Excellence for Leadership and Community Service—in recognition of her accomplishments, leadership, and outstanding service to the Latino community.
Born and raised in Laredo, Texas, Kickbusch entered the U.S. Army as an officer after graduating from Simmons University. During her twenty years of service, she broke barriers and set records in the U.S. military by earning the distinction of highest-ranking Hispanic woman in the Combat Support Field of the U.S. Army. Upon her retirement, she honored her mother’s dying wish and became an engaged community leader, founding the human development company, Educational Achievement Services, Inc. (EAS, Inc.), in 1996. Throughout her career, Kickbusch has been a champion for Hispanic families in our country. Lt. Col. Kickbusch has also played an active role in the National Alliance for Hispanic Families since its inception.
We celebrate this important recognition for Consuelo and congratulate her on this well-deserved honor.
A Push for Babies’ Health
Just a month prior to Major Bloomberg’s announcement ordering hospitals to hide their baby formula so new mothers will breastfeed, The National Alliance for Hispanic Families brought focus to the issue of breastfeeding. While Hispanic women have some of the highest rates of initial breastfeeding, they plummet upon exiting a hospital setting and when measuring for the exclusive feeding of breast milk to infants 6 months and younger. Additionally, as Hispanic women become more acculturated, breastfeeding initiation rates go down.
On June 12 -13 in Washington D.C., NAHF convened Hispanic health experts, researchers, and community-based leaders to a “Solutions Dialogue”. As a result, participants developed recommendations towards the creation of a national demonstration project that utilizes the strengths of faith and community based organizations to improve maternal and child health within the Hispanic community. Among the recommendations from the maternal health “Solutions Dialogue”, one was the development of public awareness campaigns that educate and promote breastfeeding. That is why Major Bloomberg’s pro-breastfeeding push is so exciting. New York City continues to be an influential city for the nation and once again is ahead of the curve in this breastfeeding initiative. We are hopeful that more hospitals across the nation will follow suit to become more breastfeeding friendly, recognizing the importance of breastfeeding as the impetus in the continuum of healthy living.
To access the full Solutions Dialogue report click Solutions Dialogue MH FINAL REPORT:
Mayor Bloomberg pushing NYC hospitals to hide baby formula so more new moms will breast-feed. Starting September 3rd, the city will keep tabs on the number of bottles that participating hospitals stock and use; the most restrictive pro-breast-milk program in the nation.
Under the city Health Department’s voluntary Latch On NYC initiative, 27 of the city’s 40 hospitals have also agreed to give up swag bags sporting formula-company logos, toss out formula-branded freebees like lanyards and mugs, and document a medical reason for every bottle that a newborn receives. New mothers who want formula won’t be denied it, but hospitals will keep infant formula in out-of-the-way secure storerooms or in locked boxes like those used to dispense and track medications. The New York Post explains, “With each bottle a mother requests and receives, she’ll also get a talking-to. Staffers will explain why she should offer the breast instead. ‘It’s the patient’s choice,’ said Allison Walsh, of Beth Israel Medical Center. ‘But it’s our job to educate them on the best option.’”
To read the full article in the New York City Post click here.